Ontario's police watchdog has ruled there will be no criminal charges against police in the death of a 62-year-old father of four shot and killed by an officer last summer after his family called a non-emergency line for help while he was in crisis.
In a decision released Tuesday, Special Investigations Unit (SIU) director Joseph Martino concluded the Peel Regional Police officer who fired two bullets into Ejaz Choudry's chest acted reasonably when he opened fire from the balcony of Choudry's locked Mississauga, Ont., apartment on June 20, 2020.
Choudry, the report says, was armed with a 20-centimetre-long kitchen knife when police kicked in his balcony door and shouted at him in English — a language his family has said he didn't properly understand — to drop his weapon. The officer in charge was concerned Choudry, who had schizophrenia and was not taking his medication, was at risk of self-harm, Martino said.
A statement sent to CBC News on behalf of the Choudry family by their lawyers said the family was "deeply disappointed" but not surprised by the SIU's decision.
"Ejaz committed no crime. He did not deserve any of this," says the statement, which points out that police claimed they needed to intervene for Choudry's safety, yet killed him within seconds of accessing the apartment.