The province’s Special Investigations Unit will not be laying charges in the fatal police shooting of 62-year-old Ejaz Choudry in June last year.
The Director of the SIU, Joseph Martino, has determined there is no basis to proceed with criminal charges in the case.
Last June, Peel Police officers attended an apartment unit to help paramedics with Choudry, who was said to be in mental distress.
According to investigators, Mr. Choudry then armed himself with a knife and locked himself inside his apartment unit. Officers attempted to negotiate with him but he stopped responding.
Concerned that medical assistance was required, three officers forcibly breached the apartment through the door of the second-floor balcony.
Investigators say that Choudry moved towards the officers with the knife and they attempted to stop him with a taser and rubber bullets before an officer fatally shot him.
“I extend my heartfelt condolences to Mr. Choudry’s family and friends. The pain and grief felt in the community and within our organization has been profound,” said Peel Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah in a statement. “We recognize that more has to be done to support those in crisis, and police should not be the primary responders called upon to manage mental health calls.”
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In July, the SIU said the report into the fatal shooting of Choudry was “substantially completed” but they were still waiting to interview his family.
At the time the SIU also said the subject officer in the case had declined an interview and did not submit a copy of his notes. They pointed out it is within the officers legal right under the Police Services Act.
Choudry’s family alleged that police used excessive force when officers stormed the home and shot him.
The killing of Choudry, who suffered from schizophrenia, sparked an outpouring of support and demonstrations from the community, bringing into question the use of police officers as first responders to mental health crises.
Hundreds of people marched through the streets of Mississauga days after the incident to protest the shooting.
A petition circulated online last summer demanding a public inquiry into Choudry’s death and a gofundme page was setup to help support his wife and four children.
The SIU is a watchdog agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.