Tag Archives: Human Rights

Clive Mensah Identified as Man Killed by Peel Police in November 2019

Clive Mensah, a 30-year-old Black man, has been identified as the person killed by Peel Regional Police in Mississauga, Ontario, on November 20, 2019. Mr. Mensah’s family came forward publicly with this information on July 21, 2020, partly inspired by the growing attention to police killings of Black and Indigenous people in Canada and the Black Lives Matter movement. Those mobilizations have brought a focus on police killings of people experiencing mental health crises or as part of police “wellness checks” (which are not about wellness at all).

They report that since their loved one’s killing in 2019, they have heard almost nothing from investigators with the Special Investigations Unit (SIU). They are desperate for answers about why police killed their family member, who was unarmed and known to struggle with mental health issues.

Hospital records from the killing show that Mensah was “Tased approximately six times.” He was found lying on the ground and handcuffed by paramedics. The hospital report also records that paramedics faced a delay in reaching the victim because “police cruisers blocked roadway to scene.” Paramedics reportedly had to park between 15 to 18 meters away from where Mr. Mensah lay.

Here was the initial Killer Cops Canada report at the time:

“A 30-year-old man has died after being tasered by Peel Regional Police in Mississauga, Ontario (Greater Toronto Area), during an aggressive arrest.

According to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that investigates cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario, Peel Regional Police say they were called to Runningbrook Drive in Mississauga at around 3:15 AM on report of a “suspicious male causing a disturbance.” Officers allegedly encountered the man in the backyard of a residence and, according to the SIU, some type of “struggle ensued.”

SIU spokesperson Monica Hudon reports: “As part of the struggle, several use-of-force options were used, including the deployment of a conducted energy weapon.” The man was taken into custody and soon after lost consciousness. According to Hudon, the victim was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead shortly around 4:19 AM.

No other details have yet been released publicly, including the nature of force or compliance measures used by police against the victim during the fatal encounter and arrest.

This is the second death in Mississauga in months involving conducted energy weapons. The SIU is still investigating the death of a 34-year-old man when police used a stun gun against him on September 10, 2019. These are not “non-lethal” weapons as has been shown in numerous cases.”


Man Dies in Edmonton Police Custody (June 24, 2020)

A man has died in Edmonton police custody only a few hours after being arrested in the early morning of June 24, 2020. The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, is investigating. It has been reported that the man was arrested for “public intoxication” after police responded to a call at a gas station near 51st Avenue and 122nd Street in the Lansdowne neighborhood at around 4 AM. Police claim the man “appeared to be on drugs” so it appears that this is another drug war death based on assumptions about appearance.

The man was arrested and taken to the Southwest Division station in Windermere. At around 7 AM, the victim was found unresponsive in his holding cell. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A spokesperson for Edmonton Police Service has said publicly that details could not be provided about how often the man was checked while he was detained in the holding cell.


Man Dies After Being Pepper Sprayed and Subdued by Montreal Police (June 20, 2020)

A 51-year-old man died after being pepper sprayed and subdued by Montreal police late Saturday night. According to the Bureau des enquetes independantes (Bureau of Independent Investigations, BEI), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians, Montreal police responded at around 10:40 PM to calls about a domestic dispute at a hotel on Sherbrooke Street. According to the BEI, the man ran once police arrived and officers chased him for about 300 meters.

Police allegedly caught up to him near the corner of Ontario and Saint-Timothée streets, where they pepper sprayed, subdued, and handcuffed him. During the takedown and arrest, the man lost consciousness and did not have a pulse. He was taken to hospital and pronounced dead there.

The BEI has initially assigned six investigators to the killing. They are also using a forensic expert with the provincial police force (SQ) to assist with the investigation. It is thus not an independent investigation, and police are involved in investigating police.


Peel Police Kill Ejaz Ahmed Choudry (62) in Mississauga (June 20, 2020)

Peel Region police shot and killed 62-year-old Ejaz Ahmed Choudry on Saturday, June 20, 2020. He was reportedly shot five times in the back. Mr. Choudry, a Muslim man, was experiencing mental health crisis and needed support and care, not police primed to shoot to kill. He was a husband and father of four, the youngest of whom is only seven.

According to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario, reports that police were called to an apartment unit at 3425 Morning Star Drive, near Goreway Drive, at around 5 PM, to “check on the well-being of a man.” Family members have since said that Mr. Choudry suffered from schizophrenia as well as other illnesses. He was alone in the unit and did not pose a threat to the public or others. Family members have described him as harmless.

For an older man in crisis alone in his room, posing no threat to others, police sent multiple officers and a canine unit. A video taken by a witness and posted on twitter, shows police tactical units putting climbing a ladder and breaking into Mr. Choudry’s second floor apartment from the balcony. Three officers are shown kicking open the door and shouting into the residence. One can imagine the awful impact this might have on someone said to be in crisis. Several gunshots can be heard before all three officers even enter the apartment, again raising issues of the shoot first approach by police officers. This is one reason that they should not be sent out on mental health related calls.

Incredibly, police have sought to explain killing Mr. Choudry by suggesting they were concerned about his safety. Peel Constable Sarah Patten claims: “The state of crisis that he was in and the belief that he had access to weapons, yes, we believe that he was a danger to himself” (quoted in CBC News 2020). Patten makes the absurd statement that officers broke into his apartment “to check on his well-being” (quoted in CBC News 2020).

According to the SIU, police claim that once police entered the apartment unit, “an interaction occurred which included officers deploying a conducted energy weapon at the man, as well as firing plastic projectiles from an Anti-Riot Weapon Enfield” (quoted in CBC News 2020). Again, we must ask why police were doing a supposed wellness check with anti-riot weapons?

The mentality of police is reflected in this statement by Peel Regional Police Constable Akhil Mooken, who said, tellingly: “Communication was initiated with the man to try to communicate a peaceful surrender” (quoted in Yuen 2020). Surrender. This is the language of war. For someone needing health care supports.
Family Members Not Allowed to Help

Family members who were present say that Mr. Choudry had come to the door when other families had been removed from the unit but was frightened back in when he saw officers coming toward him. An entirely understandable response to seeing police coming at you.

Khizar Shahzad, a nephew, reports that he informed the supervising officer of the severity of his uncle’s condition and told the officer the man was frightened: “I said, ‘Hey, he’s scared of your uniform, he’s not scared of you’” (quoted in CBC News 2020). The family pleaded with police to allow them to speak with their loved one who did not speak English. Police refusal to allow this is common in cases where police have been called about someone in mental health distress. Family who know the person and how best to interact with them are removed and kept from participating. This often plays a part in deadly police actions.

Muhammed Choudry, also a nephew, implored police: “Let me go upstairs, let my dad go upstairs, let my brother go upstairs. Because we’ve done this before where he listens. He listens to us” (quoted in CBC News 2020).

Family members say Mr. Choudry had difficulty breathing and walking. Mr. Choudry died at the scene.

 

Demands for Review and Inquiry

The Muslim Council of Peel has called for an immediate review of police use of force, particularly during mental-health calls. They also want publicly available race-based demographic data on police shootings. As they note in a media release:

“A disproportionate number of racialized individuals including Black, Indigenous and Muslim are the victims of police shootings across Canada and right here in Peel Region” (quoted in CBC News 2020).

The council and family are demanding an independent public inquiry into the police killing of Ejaz Choudry. In their words:

“Given the video evidence and the testimony of family members, Peel police’s conduct in this matter was clearly excessive and requires nothing short of an independent inquiry unconnected to the SIU” (quoted in CBC News 2020).

Police are heard in the video shouting at Mr. Choudry to put a gun down. No gun was retrieved at the scene.

The SIU has assigned six investigators and three forensic investigators to examine the police killing of Ejaz Choudry.

 

Further Reading

CBC News. 2020. “Family Identifies Man, 62, who was Shot and Killed by Police in Mississauga as SIU Investigates.” CBC News June 21. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/siu-police-shooting-mississauga-1.5621243

Yuen, Jenny. 2020. “Family Demands Inquiry into Shooting of Mentally Ill Man.” Toronto Sun June 21. https://torontosun.com/news/local-news/siu-to-investigate-fatal-police-shooting-in-mississauga


RCMP Shoot and Kill Rodney Levi, a Mi’kmaq Man, Metepenagiag First Nation (June 12, 2020)

People in the community report that New Brunswick RCMP have shot and killed Rodney Levi, a Mi’kmaq man, in Metepenagiag First Nation (also known as Red Bank First Nation) on June 12, 2020. There are few details reported publicly at this time. This is the second killing of an Indigenous person in New Brunswick in eight days, following the Edmunston police killings of Chantel Moore, a 26-year-old Indigenous woman of Tlaoquiaht First Nation on June 4.


Man Dies Following Numerous “Falls” After He is Taken into RCMP Custody in Kitimat (June 1, 2020)

The Independent Investigations Office (IIO), the agency that examines cases of police harm in British Columbia, is investigating the death of a man who was taken into RCMP custody in Kitimat. The IIO reports that the man “fell a number of times” after being taken into police custody. He had been arrested on May 30 on reports of “an intoxicated man” near the City Centre Mall. He died on June 1.

According to the IIO, the man was detained by police and transported to hospital after falling, before he was released on the morning of May 31. The IIO reports that the man fell again on May 31, while not in police custody. On June 1 he “was found to be suffering serious injuries while in hospital and passed away later that day.”


Family Members Report Regis Korchinski-Paquet Killed by Toronto Police (May 27, 2020) Black Lives Matter

Family members and witnesses have reported that Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a 29-year-old Black woman, was killed by being shoved off an apartment balcony by Toronto police on the evening of May 27, 2020. They also report that there was interference by police in preventing them from getting their story to mass media.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario is examining the case. According to the SIU, police claim they were called to an apartment building near High Park Avenue and Bloor Street West, at around 5:15 PM. The SIU say that when officers entered a unit on the 24th floor, “A short time later, the woman fell from the balcony to the ground below.”

Witnesses, including the victim’s mother, say that this is not what happened and that Regis Korchinski-Paquet was shoved by officers. Witnesses also claim that her body was left on the ground below for a substantial amount of time. We know in case after case of police killings of civilians that the word of police when they kill is to be treated with the highest degree of skepticism. Families who have had to suffer the brutality of seeing a loved one killed by police need to be listened to and believed.

The SIU has assigned two investigators and two forensic investigators to the killing.

For a video report by family members see: https://twitter.com/YAMAGUCHlll/status/1265841816462602240


Man Dies in RCMP Siege at Home in Chilliwack (May 23-24, 2020)

An RCMP siege at a home in Chilliwack, British Columbia, has left one man dead, The circumstances are still unclear, with reports shifting as the event unfolded over several hours overnight on the evening of May 23 and morning of may 24, 2020.

It has been reported that RCMP were called regarding a distraught man at a home in the 46000 block of Christina Drive, at around 5:30 PM on May 23. Initial reports said the man fired a shot or shots when police arrived. That has not been confirmed publicly. It has also been reported that more officers, an emergency response team, a crisis negotiator, and a police helicopter were also deployed to the scene. Nearby homes were allegedly evacuated.

The story is even less clear regarding a supposed interaction between the man and police, after about six hours, when police, for some reason fired shots as the man exited the home. He then ran back inside the home.

It is reported that a police robot was used to enter the home and search it, finding the man unresponsive. He died at the scene.

The Independent Investigations Office (IIO), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in British Columbia is examining the events resulting in the man’s death.


Everett Patrick (42), Lake Babine First Nation, Dies in Prince George RCMP Custody (April 20, 2020)

Everett Patrick (42), a member of the Lake Babine First Nation, has died after being taken into custody by Prince George RCMP on April 12, 2020. Patrick had been hospitalized after going into “medical distress” while being arrested by RCMP. He was taken off life support on April 17 and died on April 20.

The Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia (IIO), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, is investigating Patrick’s death. They report that the RCMP used a dog team to track Patrick down after allegedly responding to an alarm at a private business. They also say that Patrick was taken to hospital twice on the day he was arrested, first to be treated for what have been described as “minor wounds.” The nature of these wounds has not been confirmed publicly but it has been said that they were bites from the police dogs.

The IIO report that hours after being returned to the RCMP detachment from the hospital, Patrick “went into medical distress and was transported to hospital where he was found to be suffering from serious injury.” Miranda Thomas, Patrick’s sister, says that the family has been told that “he was having a seizure in the jail cell” (quoted in Bellrichard 2020).

Thomas says that doctors told the family that a CT scan showed that Patrick suffered “bleeding in his brain requiring emergency surgery and that he wasn’t expected to survive” (quoted in Bellrichard 2020).

The family has serious questions about what happened to Patrick while he was in RCMP custody and what caused him to be taken to the hospital for a second time the same day (Bellrichard 2020).

 

Further Reading

Bellrichard, Chantelle. 2020. “Prince George Family Looks for Answers After Man Dies in Police Custody.” CBC News April 22. https://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/prince-george-death-rcmp-custody-investigation-1.5540688?__vfz=medium%3Dsharebar


Victim of Peel Police Killing Identified as D’Andre Campbell, A Black Man in Mental Health Crisis (April 6, 2020)

The 26-year-old killed by Peel Regional Police on April 6, 2020, has been identified by family as D’Andre Campbell, a Black man who experienced mental health issues. Police knew of his mental health struggles when they arrived at the home on Sawston Circle, in the area of Edenbrook Hill Drive and Bovaird Drive, in Brampton, Ontario. Police tased Campbell and shot him multiple times, according to family members who were present.

In a statement, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario, reports that two officers tased the victim before one of the officers fired his gun multiple times.

D’Andre Campbell’s brother, Dajor Campbell has since said that his brother had mental health issues and that police had been to the home several times previously. In his words:

“Police have been to the house before, but nothing like this. That’s why I’m saying I’m confused. They came to the house 1,000 times, multiple times. I don’t know why this time they decided to shoot him.” (quoted in Freeman 2020)

Dajor Campbell says that, in fact, his brother was the one who called police and he cannot understand why police did not know how to interact with his brother on this occasion: “He’s the one that called them too, so how you gonna come into the house and shoot him. That doesn’t make sense” (quoted in Freeman 2020).

The family says that D’Andre Campbell’s mother and several younger siblings were in the home at the time and some of them witnessed the killing (Freeman 2020).

 

Further Reading

Freeman, Joshua. 2020. “Man, 26, Dead After Being Shot by Police in Brampton.” CP24 April 6. https://www.cp24.com/mobile/news/man-26-dead-after-being-shot-by-police-in-brampton-1.4885134