A lawsuit has been filed against the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) in connection with the death of Anthony Aust.
Anthony's family members and supporters of the Justice for Anthony Aust Collective gathered in front of the Elgin Street Courthouse on Friday, Oct. 7, the second anniversary of his death, to announce the suit.
On Oct. 7, 2020, Aust, 23, was killed in a fall from his 12 floor bedroom window after police officers used a dynamic entry into his family's apartment at 2020 Jasmine Cr., a controversial method used to execute a search warrant.
"The death of my son, Anthony, was absolutely preventable," said Anthony Aust's mother, Nhora Aust. "The violence that police inflict upon our beloved children is unbelievable. Every day, I grieve his death, knowing that nothing can ever bring my son back. Over the last two years, I have heard countless empty promises - from the Ottawa Police, the Special Investigations Unit, and government officials. The Police must be held accountable for the damage they caused to our family. While I must support my family and myself in our grief, I know that we are not alone. Families are coming together to bring attention to police violence and murder, and this lawsuit represents one part of my fight for justice."
In September of 2021, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) cleared the OPS of any wrongdoing in the case, stating that it could not find any reasonable grounds to charge officers in connection to Aust's death.
"Families of children killed by police remind us that there is no justice until every form of state-sanctioned violence ends," said Aisha Benslimane, member of the Justice of Anthony Aust Collective. "The actions of police officers that took Anthony's life were premeditated, planned and executed by Ottawa Police Service members. These actions were undertaken with public dollars, public resources and public institutions. The institution that authorized Anthony's murder must be defunded and dismantled - there is no reforming a racist system that has stolen countless lives."
The family is being represented by human rights advocate and lawyer Yavar Hameed.