June 21, 2020
On June 20, Ejaz Choudry, was shot and killed by police in his own apartment, during a wellness check. Ejaz was 62, suffered from mental illness, and did not speak English. The next day, the hashtag #JusticeForEjaz was used heavily on Twitter, while his community and family took to the streets to demand justice. People were seen holding placards, as community members spoke, demanding a public inquiry into the 62 year old man’s death.
A member of Ejaz’s religious community expressed concerns over the SIU’s investigation process, claiming a lack of trust in the system, and demanded a public inquiry, instead of the typical SIU investigation.
“The SIU investigations represent ZERO civilian oversight, and their history of their investigations prove a negligible amount of police every being held accountable for acts of brutality. That means there cannot be a fair or a just investigation except one that is conducted through a public inquiry. And we are demanding our public leaders heed this call for a public inquiry.”
On Twitter, some people took it a step farther, and declared the man’s killing an act of murder at the hands of police.
One Twitter user – @Ottbrownpapi – stated “There is a family in unimaginable pain today as a result of police murder.” Another Twitter user – @habissioner – indicated that Ejaz’s death may have been part of a conspiracy.
-cops yell put the gun down
-cops commit murder
-proceed to plant gun on victim
However, there is no evidence as of yet that was part of a conspiracy. Still, Twitter users view this as an act of murder, and a transparent investigation will be needed to determine whether or not that is the case.
The only public evidence of what happened is this video purportedly showing police kicking in the man’s second floor apartment, yelling “drop the weapon”, then firing on the victim.
Jagmeet Singh from the NDP, recently released a statement decrying Ejaz’s death, saying he should have been helped, not killed.
After 2 people were allegedly murdered at the hands of police in 30 days in the GTA, it is understandable the desire to see justice.
While the community mourns and demands answers, there is a chance for concerned Torontonians to use their voice.
Josh Matlow – Councillor for Toronto-St Paul’s – is putting forward a vote to reduce the Police Budget by 10%. However, there are many city councillors that disapprove of this motion.
Concerned community members can reach out to these politicians, and demand, in light of Ejaz’s murder, that they vote yes on this motion. There is information on which councillors support the motion, and which ones don’t, on this website. 2 notable conservative councillors that need to be pressured to vote yes are Jim Karygiannis and Michael Ford.
The money that goes to policing would be better utilized for community programs. We’ve seen how ineffective the police can be at keeping the peace, and de-escalating situations, so the only reasonable way forward is to demand changes in the structure of the police altogether.
Article by: Mark Slapinski