This video is my take on Facebook Groups: The Pros and Cons. Why I think that it’s a great place to find people who understand what you may be going through, and can support you when you feel isolated, and feel like no one in your social circle understands.
I am a part of several Facebook groups, not just ones pertaining to trauma and mental health.
I forgot to mention that each group has their own set of rules that you need to agree to, in order to join the group. Failure to adhere to those rules, will usually mean a suspension (you can’t participate) or you’re just booted. Before you get up in arms and talk about censorship, remember that these groups cover sensitive material and in my experience, the admins do a great job balancing free speech, and blatant spam/pointless points/harmful posts.
I was at the local car wash minding my own business when I ran into the Peel Police Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team (MCRRT).
I thought it was pretty cool and a STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION when it comes to Mental Health response in Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon.
I briefly spoke to Officer Soodan and his mental health partner (whose name I unfortunately, forgot to ask).
Also, this was a very brief conversation. Much of what I talk about in this video are my own views, based on my own research, and some was from the very short conversation we had.
Maybe in the future, I could sit down and talk with someone who works in the field to actually get them to talk about their work because I think it’s eye-opening and also very cool, that they’ve taken this step.
I address two things: The idea gaining traction on the web that the family didn’t do enough for Ejaz Choudry, the schizophrenic man shot dead by police in Mississauga Saturday night; and whether or not the officer who killed him, should be arrested for murder. This is probably the most pissed you’ve seen me in a video, in a while.
I try not to be so emotional but when I’m riled up, I’m riled up.
My heart and my prayers go out to the family of Ejas Choudry.
As someone who’s been in similar situations where I required the assistance of police on a mental health call, I fully support an investigation into what happened, and demand better training so police can de-escalate a mental health call like this using non-lethal force.
I have openly said I support good cops, and think they deserve better funding so they can have better training, and more manpower. That doesn’t mean that I can’t demand change, and demand that they do better, where improvement is needed.
Even though I’ve been in similar situations, I’ve never had it turn out this way so, there are no words.
All I can do is publicly support the family and demand answers on their behalf. Answers for Choudry, will bring to light what needs to be done to ensure this doesn’t happen to another family in the future.
I posted this as a comment but decided I’m just going to post it as a general post.
I’d like to fill you guys in on some facts: THIS IS SOMETHING I’VE LIVED THROUGH.
First of all, police have actually continuously been defunded as of late. They face cuts year after year. To the point where if you look at a local map, you’ll see that Peel Police 21 Division covers a huge portion of Brampton, a portion of Caledon and a portion of Mississauga. They only recently reopened the Malton Community Police Centre, but regardless, Malton is still technically part of 21 Division.
That’s ONE division that covers a major area of Peel.
And on any given shift, they are short-staffed and they need to bring in officers from other less busy divisions to cover their area because 21 Division is one of the busiest divisions in Peel. Because they have such a large area to cover, this is why if your car was stolen 12 hours ago, and no one is hurt, it could take them several hours to come to respond to you. This is why if somebody committed a crime on your street but no one was hurt, it takes them several hours to get to you. It’s not that they don’t care. There’s simply not enough of them. This will not be fixed by removing funding.
Second of all, you guys like to say things like, “Cops shouldn’t be involved in mental health.” Yeah. I’ve personally spoken to the FORMER police chief about this. Funny story: THEY TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU.
I hate to break it to you but this falls squarely on the shoulders of our provincial government. The Mental Health Act of Ontario literally requires the involvement of police. It is written in the law and until that’s changed, you can yell at the cops all you want, but it’s part of their mandate to be involved.
I think what people don’t understand is the difference between an arrest and detainment. Under the mental health act, police (with approval from a judge OR a doctor) can detain a patient and take them to the hospital against their will. People take videos of this stuff and they compare it to an arrest. It is NOT the same thing. The detention (cuffs, etc.) is for the safety not just of others, but for the safety of the patient, as well.
In recent years, the police have actually invested MORE money into mobile crisis teams and have partnered with crisis teams to respond to mental health calls. But, you’d be hard-pressed to find a social worker, nurse or doctor who’s going to be equipped to respond to a severely mentally ill patient who may be violent. They’d require police training for that. And we already have the police. And I’ve never met a social worker on a mobile crisis team who wants to take over the police responsibilities on a mental health call. They are there for a reason.
When police are failing and could be better served by better training, this requires manpower and requires money. This also will not be fixed by defunding.
Where you want the police to be involved less, these are LEGAL issues that you need to take up with your city councillor, mayor, MP, MPP (depending on the jurisdiction of the law you want changed). That is why it is so important to show up on voting day. Because you need to vote out bad policy-makers who write these laws into place.
It’s easy for y’all to say it’s the cops’ fault, but the law literally requires the involvement of the police. The cops didn’t write those laws. Even worse. The laws are written where the involvement of police is necessary, but their hands are tied in terms of how much they can do when they’re there.
The laws need changing. The policy-makers need changing. They are the ones who put the systemic issues in place. While some forces, like the LAPD, for example, actually have historic provable racist roots, and they need to prove that they’ve changed, Peel Police, on the other hand, is one of the most diverse police forces that exist. Crying for our local police to be defunded when they’re struggling as it is is unreasonable.
EDIT: Funny enough, I made a video about when and why police get involved under the Mental Health Act here. I actually started this video thinking the cops were abusing their power, and through research, realized the law was on their side. So, if you have a problem with what happened here, take it up with your MPP, not the cops.
I also forgot to mention that if you speak to the local fraud department at 21 Division, they are so swamped with cases that they are two years behind. The last time I spoke to them in 2019, they told me, they were just opening up cases from 2017 because they are short-staffed.
There’s also an elderly abuse coordinator. She’s a constable, My understanding is that every single case involving a victim 60-years-old or older comes across her desk. There’s only one of her. One elderly abuse coordinator for Peel Region. Think about that.
And you want to reduce their funding?
Please. Rethink that the next time you say they need less money, but need to do more.
I set out to do as much research as I could about what happened. In my experience, it’s very difficult to get the police to help you attain a Form 2.
If you have a family member who has a severe mental illness and could potentially harm themselves, or others, the burden of proof is so high, it’s often unsuccessful. So, my initial reaction was anger, when I saw that the police decided to use this valuable tool against an entire family. I was fired up.
But the more research I did, the more I realized that some of the things they have openly said online, could be used as evidence for a legal detention under the mental health act.