A police officer who last month fatally shot Ejaz Choudry, a 62-year-old man suffering from a mental health crisis, has refused to speak with Ontario’s police watchdog about his actions.
The Special Investigations Unit says the Peel Regional Police officer declined to be interviewed and has also chosen not to submit a copy of his notes.
Under the Police Services Act, subject officers cannot be legally compelled to speak with the SIU, the agency said in a news release Thursday afternoon.
The officer’s refusal marks the third such case in recent weeks where a subject officer has chosen not to speak with investigators. CBC News revealed Wednesday that two subject officers from Peel Region involved in the fatal Tasering of Clive Mensah have also refused to speak with the watchdog.
Last month, the SIU also indicated the Peel police officer who fatally shot D’Andre Campbell had declined an SIU interview.
All three cases involve Black or people of colour whose families say they were struggling with mental health issues.
Choudry’s family said he suffered from schizophrenia and various other medical conditions, and that they had called a non-emergency line with concerns that he wasn’t taking his medication.
Choudry told family members he wanted to kill himself, according to Choudhary. But no mobile crisis unit was deployed to Choudry’s home.
Instead, police have said they used a Taser and plastic bullets on Choudry, and opened fire when those had no effect.
Choudry died at the scene.
In its news release Thursday, the SIU said, it’s completed its fieldwork on the Choudry case but that the investigation remains open “pending receipt of additional information including evidence from counsel for the man’s family.”
Investigators have collected a police-issued firearm, a stun gun and an anti-riot weapon that fires plastic bullets.
They have also collected a knife from the scene.
The knife and firearm have been sent for forensic analysis.
An autopsy was conducted on June 22. The SIU says it is awaiting the results.