A wellness check was issued to the police on June 20, 2020, in Malton Ontario. The police arrived at the resident of Ejaz Chaundry and breached the door then shot and killed him. Ejaz Chaundry suffered from mental illness and was the major reason why his family ask the police to check in on him. When the police and family arrived at the Chaundry residence the family asked to approach the door with the police so their loved one would feel at ease at not react to his door being forced open. The police said “no.”
The hearts of our community go out to those who knew and love Ejaz Chaundry. We now need to do something to help other families so this does not happen again. One question that we can ask is why is the police showing up for a wellness check dress in body armour and armed with guns and assault rifles. Should there be special officers for these calls? What kind of sensitivity training should they have? Should the goals of these calls be redefined so no one gets hurt?
Ejaz Chaundry is not an isolated case. His case is one of four cases in recent months. Police were called to check on Chantel Moore, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, D’Andre Campbell like the call to check on Chaundry ended in a fatal shooting. Demands on the police to find the answers to why this has happened and bring about the rightful charges against the responding teams and leadership. A possible common thread could be that all four people mentioned here are part of a marginalized racial group. In light of reports of systemic racism in policing in Canada, all 4 of these victims are part of racialized groups. The question is will rooting out racism in our policing system end these deaths?
People and group are marching on police and government centres to bring awareness to the problem. People across the country are asking questions around Systemic Racism and Colonialism in our society so it can be brought to an end.