Features, Social

The Curious Case of a Stray Bullet

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The last thing you expect while working in the kitchen is to be hit by a stray bullet in the back. That the bullet had come from a police gun and you are not able to lay criminal charges against anyone compounds the issue. Law enforcement officers are people we rely on to keep us safe in our neighbourhoods. In March this year a confrontation in the Dixie/Dundas E area of Mississauga ended with a hail of bullets by police officers leaving one man dead, a policeman injured and Suzan Zreik, injured by a stray bullet. The bullet had to be removed surgically from Zreik’s back; it was just one inch away from her spine and could’ve caused irreparable damage.
Suzan Zreik talking to CTV

Suzan Zreik talking to CTV

According to a Toronto Star report, Special Investigations Unit, an independent Ontario watchdog, had taken over the matter and decided to not lay any charges against the police officers involved in the matter. The incident occurred when three police officers arrived to arrest a woman in the townhouse community who had been threatening her neighbor with a knife. Her son 22 year old Marc Ekamba-Boekwa answered the door armed with a six-inch knife resulting in a confrontation. The police officers resorted to firing their weapons, totaling 19 bullets of which 11 struck and killed Ekamba-Boekwa. One hurt a police officer who was wearing a bulletproof vest while the remaining bullets went flying around the neighbourhood. It was one of these that had cracked Zreik’s kitchen window and lodged in her back. Now Zreik is attempting to uncover the identity of the officer who fired the bullet; who she insists should be charged with criminal negligence for causing bodily harm for firing a gun in a busy residential complex. Her lawyer, Michael Moon told the Star that the SIU director has the power to charge these officers. ““If there’s no accountability, what’s going to stop them from doing this over and over again?” he asks. After an investigation into the case, SIU had ruled that the officers’ conduct was legally justified and no charges were to be laid. The names of the three officers were also not released. Moon and Zreik had launched their own private investigation into the matter to come to the conclusion that Peel Const. Jennifer Whyte might have been the police officer whose gun fired the stray bullet injuring Zreik. The private prosecution against Whyte had exonerated Whyte of the charges after forensics revealed that the bullet was not from her gun. However the true identity of the officer who fired the shot is still a secret. This is frustrating for Zreik who wants justice for what she has been through in the past one year. The application is due for a court hearing this Friday.

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