Protests prompt 3 city councillors to call for 'fair and transparent' police investigations

Three Toronto city councillors are calling on the province to ensure police services and investigations are fair and transparent, as activists continue to protest against the fatal police shooting of a black man in the city last year.

Calls from Black Lives Matter, community outreach workers and mental health groups prompt motion

A group demonstrated in Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square, protesting a recent decision by Ontario's police watchdog to recommend no charges against an officer who shot Andrew Loku last summer. (CBC)

Three Toronto city councillors are calling on the province to ensure police services and investigations are fair and transparent, as activists continue to protest against the fatal police shooting of a black man in the city last year.

Mike Layton, Kristyn Wong-Tam, and Gord Perks have drafted a motion, which will be submitted to city council on March 31. It has been posted on Coun. Layton's website.

It's in response to what the motion calls "a growing movement in Toronto" pushing for a review of "the provision of police services and the work of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU)," which investigates incidents involving police where civilians are killed or injured.

The motion summary states: "Black Lives Matter, community outreach workers and mental health agencies have all been speaking out and telling us that people are not being treated justly."   

This past week, members of Black Lives Matter Toronto held protests at Nathan Phillips Square and in front of Toronto Police Headquarters over a decision by the SIU not to recommend charges against the Toronto police officer involved in the shooting death of Andrew Loku in July of 2015. 

The three councillors want city council to ask "the Premier, the Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism and the new Anti-Racism Directorate, the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, and the Ontario Civilian Police Commission to review the following with an anti-black racism and anti-racism lens":

  • The way police services are provided in Toronto; and ...
  • How the Special Investigations Unit deals cases that involve people from "racialized communities."

The councilors' want the review process to include public consultation with the affected communities.  

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