Toronto’s police board postpones considering anti-Black racism report in order to hold consultations

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WATCH ABOVE: A massive turnout as thousands took to the streets of downtown Toronto to protest Black lives lost at the hands of police. Caryn Lieberman reports. (June 5) – Jun 5, 2020

TORONTO — The body that oversees the Toronto Police Service says it will postpone weighing a report on anti-Black racism until broader public consultations are conducted on the issue.

The Toronto Police Services Board was originally set to consider the report, which contains eight recommendations aimed at combatting racism in the force, at a meeting Friday.

In a statement issued this afternoon, the board says the decision comes after the public and stakeholders called for additional time to consider and discuss the recommendations.

It says the board would also like to wait until Toronto city council meets later this month, since that meeting will also tackle issues related to policing.

READ MORE: Toronto Police Services Board to review anti-racism measures at Friday meeting

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The board says it will lay out a forum to allow public input on police accountability and reform, set to take place the week of July 6.

It says all those who signed up to speak at Friday’s meeting are urged to take part in the public forum, and to make deputations when the report is brought back before the board.

The report comes after two Toronto city councillors said they would introduce a motion to defund the police service by 10 per cent and use the money for community resources.

The document acknowledged the importance of supporting those resources, but challenges the call to redirect police funding.

READ MORE: Regis Korchinski-Paquet’s death reinforces need for major mental health and policing reforms, advocates say

The eight suggestions in the report include revisiting the police budget and bolstering mental health services.

The document proposes to expand the Mobile Crisis Intervention Team Program “on an urgent basis,” with funding from the current budget.

It also recommends funding enhanced public consultations for the force’s annual budget, starting in September.

The list was developed in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a Black Minneapolis man who died while a white cop pressed a knee to his neck for more than eight minutes.