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The death of 23-year-old Aust, who fell 12 stories to his death from his family’s Jasmine Crescent apartment complex during a no-knock “dynamic entry” warrant executed by Ottawa police, is currently being investigated by the Special Investigations Unit.
Ahmed said Aust’s death, among other issues, exposed “glaring gaps” in the city’s community support networks.
“Our coalition was left answering endless phone calls, emails, messages on social media on how to support the family,” Ahmed said. “And it is complete devastation that an unfunded volunteer group of individuals ends up being the place where the most traumatized folks in our community, who are dealing with police brutality and misconduct, are directed to.
“This is a complete and utter failure of our social system and social networks and a complete failure in the ability to respond to those in crisis in moments like this.”
Ahmed said a recommendation the SIU be given a larger budget to support victims was one of the key items in the 2018 report from Tulloch that the coalition and others fought to preserve.
“So that’s what I think justice looks like,” said Ahmed. “Communities, the non-profit, the volunteer sector, the private sector, the public sector getting their act together and being able to quickly mobilize and support the most vulnerable people in these kinds of situations.”
The continuing fight against racial inequality and injustice is only one way the coalition aims to honour Abdirahman’s name, Ahmed said.