Black Lives Matter protesters occupy area outside Toronto police headquarters
Members of the Black Lives Matter group have occupied a space outside of Toronto police headquarters Monday after they were removed from Nathan Phillips Square Sunday evening.
The group is protesting a number of issues including the decision by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) that cleared a Toronto police officer of any wrongdoing in the shooting death of 45-year-old Andrew Loku.
“In July 2015, when Andrew Loku was killed, Chief Saunders, Mayor John Tory, they said we should wait for the SIU investigation. That we would get justice with the SIU investigation,” said Black Lives Matter Toronto co-founder Sandy Hudson.
“And just like 95 per cent of the time that the SIU does an investigation against police brutality, they have again decided we are undeserving of justice.”
The group is calling for the release of the police officers’ names involved in the Loku shooting as well as for charges to be laid.
An apology from police to the Loku family is also being requested accompanied by monetary compensation.
The group said it would also like to see any video footage related to the shooting.
In a press conference Monday morning, the African Canadian Legal Clinic called for a coroner’s inquest into death of Loku and a Human Rights Commission to undertake an inquiry of black people killed by police.
Protestors are also upset at city officials for reducing the popular Afrofest music festival at Woodbine Park from a two-day event to just a single day.
The summer festival was shortened after residents in the east-end area complained about the noise.
“In blatant form of anti-black racism. No other festival sees something like this,” said Hudson.
The group is demanding the city to reverse its decision and fully restore the festival as a two-day event.