Mon. Aug 8th, 2022

The 23-year-old man died in a fall from an apartment on the 12th floor when Ottawa police made a ‘dynamic entrance’.

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One year after Anthony Aust’s death during a politically “dynamic entry” into his family’s Jasmine Crescent apartment on October 7, 2020, his mother Nhora Aust is demanding systemic changes to ensure that other families will not endure similar tragedies.

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Aust joined community activists in a march and guard in her son’s memory on the anniversary of his death last week and in a registered statement called for reforms of police, prisons and “oppressive systems that do not keep us safe.”

Nhora Aust said her son’s death occurred after police made an “unnecessary entry without knocking into my house and scared my son Anthony, who jumped from his 12th floor window into his avoidable death.”

Ottawa police, including the three tactical officers who entered the apartment that morning, were cleared of criminal misconduct by Ontario’s special investigation unit in September, with SIU director Joseph Martino saying there was “no reasonable reason to believe that officers contributed “to Aust’s death through September criminal negligence.

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“Anthony was young, smart, gentle and a sweet person. He was full of life and it was taken from him, ”Nhora Aust said in the emotional statement she sent to social media to mourn the loss of her son and to raise awareness“ about the violence the police are inflicting on our children and Dear. And I urge parents, guardians, caregivers, and other members of the community to do everything possible to ensure that a similar tragedy does not happen to other people and families. ”

Police conducted a search for firearms and drugs, and while seizing illegal drugs during the raid, they found no weapons in the apartment.

Lawyers say police had an obligation to keep 23-year-old Aust safe during the arrest and should have considered his mental state as he feared police and the prospect of jail time.

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“Did he make a mistake? Yes, he did, ”said Nhora Aust in her prayer for community support. “But since we all individually analyze our prejudices, no one agrees that a person deserves to be killed for a mistake they made.

“The trauma my family is forced to endure is unbearable. We will not recover from this loss as we do not know how to pull ourselves together and be normal again. ”

“Did he make a mistake? Yes, he did, ”says Nhora Aust about her son, Anthony. “But since we all individually analyze our prejudices, no one agrees that a person deserves to be killed for a mistake they made.” Photo by Ashley Fraser /Postmedia

The organizers of the marches sent out a list of demands from the city and from the Ottawa police in memory of Aust, calling for an obligation to freeze police budgets and instead allocate these funds for increased community support.

“Despite cries from society and victims of police violence, there has been no justice in the case of Anthony Aust and so many others,” Souheil Benslimane said in a statement on behalf of the Criminalization and Punishment Project.

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In a statement following SIU’s decision in September, Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly acknowledged that the tragedy had deeply affected the Aust family and members of the community, and he sent condolences to the family.

Ottawa police will review the information in the SIU report to assess how it can further contribute to learning and improvement efforts, including the regulatory requirement to initiate an internal Section 11 review, Sloly said last month with recommendations that must be implemented with as much input from society as possible.

Aust’s family joined the CPEP and the Ottawa Black Diaspora Coalition in a joint statement calling for an end to all “policies and practices targeting indigenous, black and other racist peoples, the disabled, people living in poverty, immigrants, 2SLGBTQQIA people and all other oppressed and colonized people. ”

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Lawyers called on the city to “adopt an immediate moratorium on police expansion in our city, including increasing police budgets, acquiring new weapons, (and) hiring new and more officers” and abandoning plans to build another campus in Ottawa Police Service, with funds instead devoted to “community support and groups doing the work that actually improves our collective well-being and security.”

A handout photo of Anthony Aust, who was 23 when he died.
A handout photo of Anthony Aust, who was 23 when he died. Photo by Handout

Aust’s family joined advocates and supporters to unveil a memorial plaque and has collected hundreds of signatures on an online petition to keep the memorial permanently outside Ottawa’s police headquarters at 474 Elgin St. “As a reminder of the tragic death of Anthony and a symbol representing the devastating consequences the police have had for the Aust family” and others.

“In the face of violence, we must not remain silent,” Nhora Aust said. “It is our historical obligation to imagine, create and support alternatives to punishment that address the root causes of violence and conflict, rather than a system that terrorizes our communities and our families and leaves us without a chance for healing. . “

ahelmer@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/helmera

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