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      his housing advocate was found dead after falling from a high rise building in Toronto. But how did it happen? The family has no idea

      Posted by @nadineyousif_ on Wednesday, April 6, 2022 Under: #HOODKNEWGLOBAL

      his housing advocate was found dead after falling from a high rise building in Toronto. But how did it happen? The family has no idea

      Vanessa Amos, also known as Ezra, was found dead on March 31 near Bathurst Street and Bloor Street West after a fall from the roof of a construction site.

      Toronto Police say they are investigating after a young, Hamilton-based housing advocate was found dead near a Toronto construction site last week.

      The mother of 22-year-old Vanessa Amos, who also goes by Ezra, is now grieving and searching for answers from officials on the circumstances surrounding her daughter’s death.

      Amos died on March 31 after falling from a highrise building at a construction site overseen by EllisDon on the corner of Bathurst Street and Bloor Street West.

      Police confirmed they went to the scene shortly after 8 p.m. that evening, after receiving a report of a person who had fallen off the roof and was lying on the ground. They said the person was taken to hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

      Amos’ mother, Brandy Schlemko, said she was notified the following morning of her daughter’s death by Ontario Provincial Police, adding she did not receive information on how or why her daughter fell.

      “They didn’t say that it was a murder or a suicide or a suspicious death, or if anyone was investigating,” Schlemko said at a press conference on Monday, held by family and friends outside the Toronto Police 14 Division building in the city’s west-end.

      After speaking with Toronto Police, Schlemko said she was told Amos was taken to hospital for psychiatric assessment by police on March 30, the day before the fatal fall, following an incident at Bathurst subway station. The Toronto Transit Commission told the Star the incident involved someone “in apparent medical distress” and that first responders were called.

      Schlemko said police informed her Amos was spotted that evening by TTC staff through video surveillance, which showed Amos sitting on the ledge of the subway platform. After requesting to view the footage, Schlemko said police later told her it does not exist.

      Police confirmed they responded to a call at the station around 10:30 p.m. that evening, where a person was arrested for an alleged assault and was taken to hospital by ambulance to be assessed.

      Police did not provide more information on the alleged assault or release the name of the hospital, but family and friends of Amos have identified it as Toronto Western Hospital, run by the University Health Network.

      In hospital documents shared with the Star by the family, a Form 42 under the Mental Health Act stated that Amos was examined by an emergency doctor on March 31, and was found to be at risk of attempting to cause serious bodily harm to themselves. The form was to notify Amos that the hospital had the authority to hold them in custody for up to 72 hours pending psychiatric assessment.

      But in a handwritten note by a psychiatrist at the hospital, it was stated Amos was discharged at noon that day to attend a court date.

      A spokesperson for UHN did not answer questions on the circumstances of Amos’ discharge, citing patient confidentiality. Police said Amos was due to appear in court in relation to the incident at Bathurst station, but not until May 24.

      At Monday’s press conference, Schlemko and members of the Hamilton Encampment Support Network, which Amos was an active member of, said they are looking for answers from both Toronto Police and Toronto Western Hospital on the circumstances surrounding Amos’ death, including why Amos was discharged from hospital that day, as well as the nature of the police investigation into the death.

      “I don’t know what’s going on right now, but I need answers, that’s the bottom line,” Schlemko said, adding police and hospital officials have not been forthcoming with information.

      A Toronto Police spokesperson told the Star on Monday that “an investigation is ongoing, but at this time there is no evidence to suggest the death is suspicious.”

      The Star has reached out to EllisDon and the TTC in regards to Amos’ death, both of which declined to comment on details citing an ongoing police investigation.

      Schlemko said she last heard from Amos at 3:13 p.m. the day of the fatal fall. In a text, Amos told Schlemko about packing for an upcoming Vancouver trip scheduled for Monday to visit family.

      “She was somebody, she had a family that loved her, she did so much for her community,” Schlemko said. “She was a beautiful person, and she cannot just be swept under the rug.”

      Amos, who identified as trans and non-binary, was a housing advocate in Hamilton. Amos was among six members of the Hamilton Encampment Support Network who were arrested in late November by Hamilton Police at a protest against encampment clearings in the city. All six were later released on a peace bond.

      “How much is it going to take for the lives of Black and racialized people in this city to be taken seriously?” Amos asked, shortly after being released from police custody.

      In a statement issued later on Monday, Amos’ family said they’d “only be satisfied with a full and immediate disclosure of all police information” in relation to Amos’ death.

      Nadine Yousif in Toronto


      Tags: his housing advocate was found dead after falling from a high rise building in toronto. but how did it happen? the   family   has  no idea  toronto  mental health   
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