Police officials in the Canadian state of Ontario have sought a ban on the publication of the names of officers involved in the killing of Pakistani-born Canadian citizen Ijaz Chaudhry, a father of four children with schizophrenia, who was shot dead by police in 2020 Had done
Peel Regional Police has claimed that publishing the identities of the five officers would put them and their families at risk CBC News.
Officers were involved in the June 2020 killing of a 62-year-old man after his family called a non-emergency line when they were in distress.
In a notice to the Ontario Supreme Court in May, lawyers for the police officers said “the officers fear for their safety and mental well-being and that of their family members.”
According to a court filing, an officer involved in the shooting was quoted as saying he is afraid to go out in public with his family amid “threats and intimidation on social media and during protests” .
Reacting to the police plea, the victim’s family members said the move was just an attempt to hide from the public.
Chowdhury’s daughter, Nemrah Ahmed, said, “Despite ignoring my father’s safety and well-being in the midst of a mental health crisis, these officers have asked the courts to respect and prioritize him.”
“It is just an excuse to hide their names from the public,” Ahmad said. “There must be transparency and accountability.”
The motion is scheduled to come up for hearing next April. Family attorneys Simon Bieber and Chris Grisdale declined to comment.
The motion comes as Chowdhury’s family prepares for a lengthy court battle after Ontario’s police watchdog declined to press charges against the officers involved, dashing their hopes of criminal charges.
Chaudhary’s family claimed in the petition that they called Peel paramedics around 5:30 pm on June 20, 2020, concerned that he was not taking his schizophrenia medication. He said, Chaudhary looked confused. It was not the first time he had seen this happen and previous incidents had been settled “without incident”.
But instead of receiving medical help, Chowdhary would die that day.
Chowdhary’s daughter told the dispatcher that he had a small pocket knife, but it was not dangerous. Paramedics contacted police for help, who asked Choudhury’s family to leave the house.
When the police arrived, they asked in English to see Chaudhary’s knife, which had to be translated by his daughter. Chowdhary then took out a 20 cm kitchen knife from under the mat on which he was sitting and asked the police to leave.
According to the lawsuit, Chowdhary said he “would not leave his house because he feared the officers would shoot him.” Later, when a Punjabi-speaking officer arrived, Chowdhary told him that he had no intention of hurting himself, according to the family’s civil claim.
Yet, instead of waiting for a mobile crisis unit, officers gathered in front of Chowdhury’s door and on his balcony with plans to detain him under the Mental Health Act. The lawsuit states that Chowdhary stopped responding to police around 8 p.m., after which police forcibly entered the home and shouted at him in English.
Within 11 seconds of breaking down Chaudhary’s door, the police tasered him, fired three rubber bullets at him and fired two bullets into his chest, killing him.