Peel Regional Police arrested several people at a protest in Mississauga Saturday.
Police said protestors had gathered at the intersection of Goreway Drive and Morning Star Drive at around 2:09 p.m., blocking traffic.
A Twitter account called “Malton’s People Movement” said they were protesting the province’s Special Investigations Unit decision to not proceed with charges against a Peel officer following the shooting death of Ejaz Choudry last June.
At around 4:31 p.m. police said that the group moved north on Goreway Drive, pushing through police safety lines in an effort to block railway traffic just north of Brandon Gate Drive.
“For the safety of all involved and those in the community, this is no longer considered a peaceful gathering,” police tweeted.
Police arrested seven individuals, charging most of them with obstructing a peace officer, before they were released.
Ryan Pelletier, 27, of Mississauga, has been charged with Disturbing the Peace, Obstruct a Peace Officer and Assault with the Intent to Resist Arrest.
Atif Jameel Qureshi, 34, and Shawn Amankwah, 30, both of Mississauga, have been charged with Disturbing the Peace and Obstruct a Peace Officer.
Nasim Asgari, 23, of Toronto, Ashraf Sahar, 30, of Toronto, Kabir Joshi, 2, of Toronto, and Anthony Bedward, 26, of no fixed address have all been charged with Obstruct a Peace Officer.
“Criminal offences will not be tolerated and those committing criminal acts will be held accountable,” police said in a tweet around 4:39 p.m.
Video from the scene showed a standoff between police and protestors. Later in the video, a melee is seen erupting between the two sides, with police officers and protestors scuffling with each other. A man is shown being led away in handcuffs shortly after.
Protestor Jahan Ul-Nisa said the police grabbed people and “roughly threw them to the ground.”
“When we tried to intervene to get our supporters back, they arrested and grabbed more people,” she said.
“This is exactly what we mean when we say police violence brutality…they can’t be reformed because clearly when we’re trying to protest to release the names of the officers…this is their response to people demanding basic justice for their families,” Ul-Nisa added.
SIU: ‘no basis to proceed with criminal charges in this case’
Video: Peel officer who shot Ejaz Choudry won’t face charges
Saturday’s protest had been one of a series of demonstrations following the shooting death of Choudry last year.
Peel police officers were called to Ejaz Choudry’s apartment on Morning Star Drive in Mississauga on the evening of June 20, 2020 to check on his well-being.
Choudry’s family has said they called a non-emergency line for help while Choudry was in crisis and needed his medication, but police showed up.
Officers and Choudry’s family headed to his home where, according to the SIU’s report, he was found barricaded inside, kneeling on a prayer rug and holding two kitchen knives.
The victim’s nephew, Hassan Choudhary, said his uncle suffered from schizophrenia.
The SIU said officers attempted to get Choudry to surrender but when he stopped responding, three members of the Peel Regional Police tactical response unit forced their way in through the door of the second-floor balcony.
When Choudry would not drop the knives, officers fired a conductive energy weapon at him, as well as rubber bullets, but when that was unsuccessful an officer fired a fatal shot.
In its report, the SIU noted that the officer who fatally shot Choudry declined to be interviewed for the investigation and did not provide notes, as is the officer’s legal rights.
Choudry was pronounced dead at the scene. His death sparked protests that saw demonstrators occupy a local intersection for several days.