umar zameer trial

Toronto reacts with outrage and generosity after Umar Zameer acquitted for murder

The public is reacting with a mix of emotions after Umar Zameer was found not guilty in the 2021 death of Toronto police officer Jeffrey Northrup on Sunday, and anger over inconsistencies in cops' stories during the trial was only compounded by a puzzling statement from the city's police chief following the verdict.

Chief Myron Demkiw issued a statement disagreeing with Zameer's acquittal for first-degree murder charges, doubling down on the police's contested position that Zameer intentionally struck and killed Northrup in a City Hall parking garage in 2021 — a claim that jurors did not agree with.

"This has been a difficult time for the Toronto Police Service Family," stated Demkiw, calling the loss of Detective Constable Northrup "devastating to his family, his partner, members of 52 Division and the entire policing community."

"Jeff loved coming to work and is fondly remembered by all of us who knew him as an outstanding police officer and member of our community."

However, it's one specific part of Demkiw's statement that has triggered public outrage: when he said that while the police "respect the judicial process and appreciate the work of the 12 citizens who sat on a very difficult case, I share the feelings of our members who were hoping for a different outcome."

Commenters on Reddit slammed Demkiw's statement, with one user saying, "police, including the chief, were hoping an innocent guy goes to jail."

"Did they try taking responsibility for their terrible, shameful police work? Clearly not, and they still try to play the victim with 'this difficult time' message 2 years after the event. Still, nothing to acknowledge that they tried ruin an innocent man's life. The chief should be issuing an apology for this disgraceful event."

Another user chimed in, saying, "Uhhh... so the police don't trust due process? Can't say I'm in any way surprised."

Demkiw isn't the only one under fire, as both Ontario premier Doug Ford and former Toronto Mayor John Tory spoke out against Zameer's bail release in 2021. Members of the public are calling on the politicians to apologize to Zameer publicly.

Others are reacting with generosity, and many have pitched in to a fundraising campaign to cover Zameer's legal expenses.

The GoFundMe campaign started by Zameer's wife, Aaida Y Shaikh, has seen an explosion in donations since Sunday's verdict, and has raised over $75,000 towards a $200,000 goal as of Monday morning.

Lead photo by

LouiesWorld1 / Shutterstock.com


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