Woman shot dead by Toronto police officer charged with murder

A new charge has been laid in the murder investigation of a 37-year-old woman shot dead by a Toronto police officer on downtown Toronto’s Danforth Avenue on the afternoon of July 26.

Ella Medeiros was shot by a female officer who is now facing a charge of first-degree murder. The charge alleges that Medeiros was unlawfully at large when the officer shot her.

Medeiros was initially charged with four counts of failure to comply with recognizance, failure to remain, assault, and assault with a weapon. Those charges related to incidents dating from 2017.

Medeiros was set to appear in court next week, where she faced two more charges of failure to comply. The Crown has not filed any indictable charges.

After Medeiros was shot, Toronto police did not say who shot her.

The killing of Medeiros, a Toronto community activist, sparked widespread outrage among activists, and spurred a week-long civil rights-related protest at police headquarters.

Tensions were further heightened after video of the incident was released just days later. The video captured the moments before and after Medeiros was shot, and showed her running away from the officer and police, before turning to face the officer and then falling.

Toronto police chief Mark Saunders later stated he did not believe the officer acted improperly but still opened the investigation to determine whether any criminal charges were warranted. Toronto police have said the incident is under review.

Medeiros, the eighth black woman killed by the police in Toronto since 2002, was in a relationship with Shyanne Charles, who was 16 when she was shot and killed by a Toronto police officer in 2016. The officer was later found not guilty of criminal negligence causing death, and kicked out of the force.

In January, Charles joined Medeiros and their relatives in demanding that the police explain the circumstances around the shooting.

“Where are the top officers of this department? Where are the gang members? Who’s accountable?” Charles asked. “We need answers. No matter how hard she may try to look good on the surface, her death won’t bring her back. We need answers.”

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