Identities of police officers involved in death of a Mississauga father to be revealed: courts


Published April 29, 2024 at 7:38 pm

Mississauga, police, SIU, court, shooting, mental, crisis
A request by police to have the identity of five officers involved in the shooting of Mississauga father Ejaz Choudry hidden from the public was denied by the Ontario Superior Court on Monday (Apr. 29).

The identities of the police officers involved in the death of Mississauga father Ejaz Choudry will be made public, ruled the Ontario Superior Court on Monday (Apr. 29).

In a “unprecedented and untypical” request, Police asked the court to hide the identities of the officers involved in the death of the Mississauga father who had schizophrenia and was shot by police inside his apartment on the night of June 20 almost four years ago.

Justice Paul Perell ruled that a publication ban and an anonymity order in the civil proceedings would have a “negative” impact on the freedom of expression.

“The whole of civil society has an interest in scrutinizing the administration of justice in a civil action that involves how that society is being policed,” wrote Perell in the ruling of his decision. “Without knowing the names of the John Doe Officers, journalists and the public have no way of knowing whether any of them may have been involved in previous incidents, and whether there may be a systemic problem or an isolated incident.”

On the day of the incident, Choudry’s family had called a non-emergency line hours earlier to tell dispatchers that their father was suffering from mental health crisis.

After first trying to negotiate with Choudry, police breached the second-floor apartment. The Mississauga man was tasered and then hit with rubber projectiles and two rubber bullets.

Choudry was pronounced dead at the scene. Police told Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) that the father of four had come at them with a knife when they first entered the apartment.

In a controversial decision in 2020 that was met by protests across the city, SIU decided there were no reasonable grounds to charge any of the five officers involved.

A year later in 2022, Choudry’s family launched a multi-million-dollar civil lawsuit against Peel Regional Police, the police chief, and the five officers.

The family alleged the situation turned into “a high-risk tactical operation” that led to the death of their father.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) commended the dismal by the court.

“As the CCLA argued and the Court recognized in its decision, it is vital that the public know about allegation of police misconduct, be able to identify repeat bad actors, and see justice be done,” said Shakir Rahim, director of the Criminal Justice Program at the CCLA, in a statement.

The civil proceedings will continue.

insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising