Toronto

Black Lives Matter Toronto 'very encouraged' by inquest into Andrew Loku's death

Black Lives Matter Toronto organizers are pushing forward with their list of demands after several were met over the past few weeks.

'When you bring the evidence out into the public ... that can only be a good thing,' says organizer

Black Lives Matter Toronto organizer Sandy Hudson says the announcement of a coroner's inquest "does signify a strong commitment to addressing the demands that we've laid out." (CBC)

Black Lives Matter Toronto organizers are pushing forward with their list of demands after several were met over the past few weeks.

"There's still a number of demands that we need to [see] addressed," Sandy Hudson said at a Sunday news conference outside Toronto police headquarters on College Street.

"We want the immediate release of the names of the police officers who killed Andrew Loku and Alex Wettlaufer and for charges to be laid against them."

Loku, 45, was fatally shot by a Toronto police officer last July when he refused to drop a hammer. The Special Investigations Unit said the officer responsible acted reasonably and no charges were laid. 

Wettlaufer was 21 years old when he died after being shot by police in a North York park area in March. The SIU was also called to investigate that incident. 

Hudson acknowledged she is "very encouraged" by the fact that another set of eyes will be reviewing what happened the night Loku was shot.

"When you bring the evidence out into the public, where other people are able to take a look and provide some measure of accountability, that can only be a good thing," she said.

"A coroner's inquest will ensure that those names will eventually be given to the public but that could take some time. It is in the public's interest to have that information right away and we're going to continue to push for that."

Hudson said the announcement of a coroner's inquest "does signify a strong commitment to addressing the demands that we've laid out." 

The inquest that was called by the province on April 13 is expected to begin in the coming months. 

A Black Lives Matter Toronto organizer says a coroner's inquest into Andrew Loku's death will ensure the name of the officer who shot the 45-year-old man will be released. (Handout photo)