The Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW) Stands with the Family of Ejaz Choudry, Who Was Shot by Peel Police While Unarmed During a Mental Health CrisisWritten by Canadian Council of Muslim Women
Ina lilah waina ilayhi rajioon
Indeed, to Allah we belong and to Allah we shall return
Another day and another racialized individual is shot dead senselessly by the police.
Instead of celebrating Father’s Day with his children, Ejaz Choudry was shot and killed by Peel Regional Police in his home on Sunday, June 21st after his family called a non-emergency line in hopes of helping him get through a schizophrenic episode.
Ejaz Choudry was a 62-year-old immigrant man who did not speak English. He was not taking his medication and was suffering from a mental health crisis. According to his nephew, Khizar Shahzab, Ejaz was also physically frail.
His family wanted help in calming Ejaz down and intended for him to be taken safely to a hospital to help him get through his schizophrenic episode. Instead, three police officers used a ladder to get to Ejaz’s second-floor balcony. They kicked open Ejaz’s backdoor, yelled at Ejaz to put down a knife, and fired five shots at him, killing him.
“(An officer) told me word for word, ‘We will go upstairs peacefully. They went from the back with a ladder. They went upstairs while standing outside on the balcony, they shot him … they shot him in cold blood.”
Khizar Shahzab, nephew of Ejaz Choudry
“He’s . He can barely breathe! What threat was he to them? They shot him five times in cold blood. What kind of justice is that?”
Muhammad Choudry, nephew of Ejaz Choudry.
The family is demanding a public inquiry to know why Peel Regional police officers did not de-escalate the situation instead of opening fire and effectively killing Ejaz Choudry.
“We don’t want an investigation with the police and the (Special Investigations Unit). We want a public inquiry with politicians involved to help bring this to justice. This is cruel and injustice to the limit.”
Hashim Choudry, nephew of Ejaz Choudry
Broader public conversations regarding the role of police in mental health crises, their use of force in these situations, and re-allocating funds to trained and unarmed professionals who can effectively de-escalate persons undergoing mental health distress are crucial and necessary. In the midst of a reckoning with racist police brutality and demands to defund the police, let us not lose a moment to seek justice for Ejaz Choudry.
To Ejaz Choudry and his family: we stand with you.