People are demanding justice after 62-year old man gunned down by police in Malton
Another local life has been added to list of people with mental illnesses who've been killed or injured during interactions with police recently, and advocates from across the GTA are once again demanding critical systematic change and justice for family members.
Ejaz Ahmed Choudry, 62, was shot to death by police inside his apartment at 3425 Morning Star Drive in Malton on the evening of Saturday, June 20.
Ontario's Special Investigations Unit stated in release that Peel Regional Police officers had attended the address around 5 p.m. "to check on the well-being" of a man in crisis.
The man is then said to have "barricaded himself inside the unit," but maintained contact with police officers outside. Once he stopped talking to police around 8 p.m., they "breached the door and entered the unit."
This is insane. This happened in Malton today. The police were called because a man was suffering a mental health crisis. So what did the police do? They climbed a ladder, entered the apartment from the balcony and opened fire on the man, shooting him multiple times pic.twitter.com/Gz9OMVuCih— Ibrahim Hindy (@Hindy500) June 21, 2020
"An interaction occurred which included officers deploying a conducted energy weapon at the man, as well as firing plastic projectiles from an Anti Riot Weapon ENfield," reads the SIU release.
"When these had no effect, an officer discharged a firearm and the man was struck. The man was pronounced deceased at the scene."
Peel police Const. Sarah Patten told reporters Saturday night that the man had been suffering from a medical condition, and that he had not been taking his medication.
Police also believed at the time that he "had access to weapons" and that he was "a danger to himself."
Family members told press that Choudry had long suffered from schizophrenia, as well as respiratory issues that made it hard for him to walk even three or four steps at a time.
WATCH: “He said, ‘let me go and scream his name so he knows I’m here’...officers came out with guns out and they said you need to leave.”— Lucas Meyer (@meyer_lucas) June 22, 2020
Nephews Muhammad and Hassan of Ejaz Choudry, say family pleaded with Peel Police to let them help their uncle, before he was shot and killed pic.twitter.com/SfgiaddZq1
"He was a harmless man," said the man's nephew, Muhammed Choudry, to reporters on Sunday afternoon outside the Malton apartment building.
"You're telling me a 62-year-old man... who can barely breathe to begin with is going to run and attack you?"
Another of the victim's nephews set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for Choudry's wife and four children.
"My uncle Ejaz Ahmed Choudry was brutally killed by the Peel Police on the night of June 20, 2020," reads the About section of the page, which has already raised more than $31,000.
"He was an incredibly kind-hearted man, who loved all of us. His death has been an incredible shock to his wife and 4 kids, as well as all the rest of our family."
tw / police brutality— duha (@bikeandcycIe) June 22, 2020
yesterday in my city the police shot a 65 year old man who was suffering from a schizophrenic episode, five times and killed him. please donate if you can and share if you can’t he left behind a wife and four children.https://t.co/VyVnUxSo68
As more and more details surface about what happened to Choudry on Saturday night, people are growing increasingly irate over how police are said to have handled the situation.
The man's brother told CBC News that, when he arrived to the scene, he begged police to let him go up and speak with Choudry himself, as the victim did not speak English and was afraid of police.
Instead, police forced access into the unit through the man's balcony and shot him "multiple times," as the SIU states.
Disturbing video footage shot by a witness and posted to Twitter by Mississauga Imam Ibrahim Hindy on Sunday appears to show the moment police broke in and delivered the fatal gunshots.
@PeelPolice @BonnieCrombie @patrickbrownont Why did your police forced execute a mentally ill man? Why was a tactical unit sent on a mental health call? Why was it necessary for there to be assault weapons on a mental health call?— Ibrahim Hindy (@Hindy500) June 21, 2020
"We let them know that he's a mentally ill patient," said one of Choudry's family members in another video from Saturday night shared by Hindy. "We said, hey, listen, if you come in with guns and tasers, he's going to react — he's schizophrenic."
"They went from the back of the balcony with a ladder and they stood outside, three of them stood outside, one with an AR and they shot him while he was sitting inside," continued the young man. "What kind of justice is that, tell me? That's not justice!"
Choudry's loved ones, horrified community members and advocates for police reform have been demonstrating since Sunday afternoon. The group is said to have blocked off a Mississauga intersection in protest of Choudry's death on Sunday night. They remain at the scene of the intersection as of Monday afternoon.
A larger and more formal rally is set to take place around 4 p.m. today outside the late man's apartment building at Morning Star Drive and Goreway.
"Join us in the streets to demand justice!" reads an Instagram post promoting the event, which has also been endorsed by Choudry's family via GoFundMe.
"On Saturday the Peel police killed another man who was in a state of crisis living with schizophrenia who needed help. They killed him and walked away smiling."
"The family of Ejaz Choudry and community will be holding space and marching TODAY to demand justice for Ejaz, for critical changes in the system and for justice for everyone who has been killed and harmed by police," the post continues.
"This is following the killings of D'Andre Campbell, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Chantel Moore and Rodney Levi in the past few months ALONE."
"These are only names that we know and in most of these cases — police were called to help someone in a mental health crisis — yet the family had to witness the horrific death of their loved ones."
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