Police kill Canadian man during mental health check
A protest has closed near an intersection near where Ejaz Choudry was shot by the police
A Canadian man in mental distress was shot dead by the Ontario police, which exacerbated the need for reform.
Ejaz Choudry, 62, was killed on the weekend when the police responded to a call to "check a man's well-being."
In May, 29-year-old Regis Korchinski-Paquet from Toronto fell from a balcony and died after the police arrived to help her.
Ontario's police guard, the Special Investigation Unit (SIU), is investigating the two deaths.
What happened to Mr. Choudry?
At a press conference, Mr. Choudry's family said he had schizophrenia, was paranoid, and feared the police. His nephew Khizar Shahzad says Mr. Choudry's daughter requested a non-emergency ambulance on Saturday because her father had an "episode". When paramedics arrived at his Malton apartment outside of Toronto, Mr. Shahzad said they saw that he had a knife and called the police.
The family, remembering that they asked the police to go inside the building with them to make Mr. Choudry more comfortable, explained that he was probably paranoid.
"I said, 'Hey, he's afraid of your uniform, he's not afraid of you,'" Mr. Shahzad recalled.
In a press release, the SIU announced that the Peel regional police arrived at 5:00 p.m. local time and communicated with Mr. Choudry, who was barricaded in his apartment.
"Shortly after communication was cut, officers broke the door and entered the unit. An interaction occurred, in which officers used a guided energy weapon on the man and fired plastic bullets," the SIU said in its press release.
"When these had no effect, an officer fired a gun and the man was beaten."
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
What happened to Ms. Korchinski-Paquet?
Ms. Korchinski-Paquet, who was of black and indigenous origin, died after falling from a balcony on the 24th floor in Toronto after the police were called to help her. According to her family, she suffered from epilepsy. Her mother called the police and asked her to take her to the Toronto Addiction and Mental Health Center.
The SIU has published only a few details about her death, which have been widely reported in the local media.
A press release announcing the investigation said, "Officials were in a 24th-floor unit watching a woman on the balcony. A short time later, the woman fell from the balcony to the floor."
Last month, Ms. Korchinski-Paquet's name was mentioned alongside George Floyd's protests at Black Lives Matter across Canada, and the words "Justice for Regis" have become a collective call for people who put an end to systemic racism in the Canadian police force demand.
Don't shoot, I'm disabled
Now Mr. Choudry's name has been added to the growing list of ethnic minorities across Canada who have been killed on a mental health check by the police.
What was the reaction to the deaths?
Protest in Toronto
There were protests in the Toronto area on Sunday and Monday.
Protesters marched through the streets of Mississauga and blocked a section of road near the place where Mr. Choudry was shot and demanded an independent investigation into his death.
At a joint press conference on Monday afternoon, the Canadian Muslim National Council, the Urban Alliance on Race Relations and the Muslim Council of Peel said they wanted the officer who shot him to be fired immediately.
"The police must be kept at the same level as the rest of us. They have blood on their hands and the officer who pulled the trigger should never be given a weapon or badge again," said Mohammed Hashim, who is on the board of directors Urban Alliance.
The SIU, which is investigating all civilian deaths that occur during police interactions, is currently investigating both the death of Mr. Choudry and the death of Ms. Korchinski-Paquet.
But many have questioned the police guard's ability to do justice. Ms. Korchinski-Paquet's family delayed her interview with the SIU because of concerns that the investigation was compromised after she claimed that the police had released details of her death to the media.
Peel Muslim Council calls for an independent, non-SIU investigation and a review of the use of force by the police in mental health checks. Mr. Choudry was originally from Pakistan.
"I am heartbroken for the family," said Council Executive Director Rabia Khedr in a statement.
"The police are trained to catch and shoot criminals to kill them. Regardless of the mental health they receive, they should never be first responders to such incidents. We need to have the right expertise and the right people in crisis intervention services Invest protocols to manage someone. " in mental need. "
Concerns about the effectiveness of the SIU in persecuting police brutality go back years.
In 2008, the Ontario Ombudsman, André Marin, published a critical report saying, "I have no doubt that a SIU investigation is currently underway with blue glasses."
Subsequent governments have tried to reform the SIU with various desired outcomes.
In 2019, Ontario's current prime minister, Doug Ford, passed a law to streamline the investigative process after he promised the free police to "impose harsh restrictions that treat uniformed people as suspicious and contemptible."
Critics, including the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, accused the police of gutting police oversight.
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