Family hires lawyer after Ottawa man fell to his death during police raid

Anthony Aust and Lawrence Greenspon

OTTAWA  – The family of Anthony Aust,  the 23-year-old man who fell to his death after a police raid at his apartment on October 7 last , has hired an Ottawa lawyer to represent them in their search for answers.

The  lawyer, Lawrence Greenspon, said he’s fact-gathering while the Special Investigations Unit  (SIU) , the province’s civilian police watchdog, continues its probe into the circumstances of the man’s death.

“You have a violent, sudden death of a loved one and there’s all kinds of questions that need to be asked and answered. Hopefully some of those questions will be answered with the investigation by the SIU, but I’m not overly confident that’s going to be the case,” said Greenspon.

The SIU said that shortly after police officers  breached the door of the apartment, the man fell from the window to the ground below.

He was pronounced dead on the scene.

In  a home security video, Ottawa police tactical officers can be seen first forcing the front door open, then yelling, “Police! Don’t move,” before tossing in a flash grenade that filled the front entryway with light and smoke. The video then captures at least eight officers coming into the apartment, all with their guns drawn.

Raymond Aust,  brother of the dead man, said he (his dead brother)  was the only target of the raid..

“Yet the police felt it was necessary to send a unit and surround the building as well?”

He said he wants to know what happened in the final moments of his brother’s life.

“With so many officers, why wasn’t one able to try and stop him from opening his window and jumping out? ” he asked.

His brother was on bail at the time of this death.

He was facing  eleven. charges after allegedly being caught with drugs and a gun during a traffic stop last January.

The SIU said  on Friday that that nine officers who were designated  as witness officers have been interviewed and that its investigation continues.