The police officer who shot and killed Ejaz Choudry, 62, last year in Mississauga will not be facing charges after an investigation by Ontario's police watchdog, CP24 reports.
Choudry, who suffered from schizophrenia. was killed last year after police were called to his apartment by his family, who said that the man was not taking his medication.
After the police arrived, Choudry's family left their apartment as he held a large kitchen knife. Negotiations failed to convince Choudry to drop the knife, and he lunged forward at a police officer with the knife sticking out. Police fired a taser first, then projectiles to subdue him.
He was later pronounced dead at the scene.
According to the Special Investigations Unit, Choudry continued to hold on to the knife even after being shot, and officers had to kick the knife out of his hand.
The shooting, which took place in June of last year as the United States was engulfed in a wave of riots in the wake of the death of George Floyd while in police custody, sparked a public discussion surrounding the role of police in responding to mental health-related calls, with some questioning how apt police officers are to deal with such situations.
"Following a thorough examination of the evidence, I am unable to form reasonable grounds to believe any [Peel Regional Police] officer committed a criminal offence in relation to Mr. Choudry's death," wrote SIU Director Joseph Martino in his report on the incident.
"Despite his frailty, Mr. Choudry was armed with an edged weapon, a kitchen knife with a 20-centimetre blade, which could cause grievous injury or death. At the time of the shooting, lesser use of force, including use of a CEW and multiple ARWEN discharges, had failed to deter Mr. Choudry."
Investigators interviewed nine civilians and 13 police officers related to the incident, but the officer who shot Choudry declined to be interviewed. Under Ontario law, witnessing officers can be compelled to speak on an incident, but subject officers are legally entitled to decline an interview if they so choose.