Manitoba

Pop-up protests to abolish police wind up outside Winnipeg police headquarters

About 200 people gathered at a rally dedicated to five people who were shot and killed by police and two people who died in police custody outside the Winnipeg Police Service headquarters.

Supporters gathered on 8th day in a row of rallies organized by Justice 4 Black Lives Winnipeg

Members of Justice 4 Black Lives Winnipeg organized eight days of pop-up protests in the city. On the final day, supporters of the movement rallied outside the Winnipeg Police Service Headquarters. (CBC)

For the eighth consecutive day, supporters of the Justice 4 Black Lives Winnipeg movement gathered to listen to speeches and chant in the city's downtown.

About 200 people met on Monday afternoon outside the Winnipeg Police Service Headquarters, near the intersection of Graham Avenue and Smith Street, calling for more accountability and to defund the police.

"We do not want reform. We want the Winnipeg police gone," organizers wrote in an Instagram post before the rally.

The latest pop-up protest was the eighth event in a row organized by Justice 4 Black Lives Winnipeg.

It was dedicated to five people who were shot and killed by police and two people who died while in police custody: Machuar Madut, Jason Collins, Eishia Hudson, Stewart Kevin Andrews, Randy Cochrane, Sean Thompson and Chad Williams.

"These folks demand justice. They lost their lives too soon," reads the post.

All seven were Black, Indigenous and people of colour. Some of their family members are still demanding answers about their loved ones' death.

People rallied Tuesday outside the Winnipeg Police Headquarters to draw attention to people who died while in police custody and who were killed by police. (CBC)

Many attendees at the rally were carrying signs with supportive slogans and wearing masks to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

"These folks did not deserve to die. And the Winnipeg police need to be held accountable for their actions. We want to remind folks again that the police consistently show they are not capable of helping those in crisis," organizers posted on Instagram.

"We want to thank everyone who has shown up or watched the live streams every single day. We appreciate you and we see you."

Vehicles and buses passed by people huddled in front of the main entrance to the blue glass building that houses the officers in blue uniforms and other staff.

A car passes on the road outside the Winnipeg Police Service Headquarters as a Justice 4 Black Lives Winnipeg rally took place on Tuesday. (CBC)

In a tweet, Winnipeg Police Service said criminal record checks, fingerprinting and in-person crime reporting service will not be available on Monday afternoon.

In a statement, a police spokesperson said they had no additional comment on the closures or the rally just outside their main entrance.

Organizers had asked reporters not to attend and did not provide an interview.

Thousands of people descended on the Manitoba Legislature to demand justice for Black lives on June 5. That also marked the day organizers released their list of 10 demands for the city and the province to address anti-Black racism and police brutality.

With files from Peggy Lam

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