Toronto

Black Lives Matter demands Toronto police apologize for Andrew Loku's death

A community organization wants the city and its police force to be held accountable for the fatal police shooting of Andrew Loku.

Mayor John Tory is 'very sorry for the family' of man killed by police

Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders has been presented with a list of demands by the city's Black Lives Matter sect in response to Andrew Loku's death. (Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press)

A community organization wants the city and its police force to be held accountable for the fatal police shooting of Andrew Loku.

Toronto's Black Lives Matter coalition, a group "working in solidarity with communities seeking justice from state-sanctioned violence," according to its Facebook page, issued a list of demands to Mayor John Tory and police Chief Mark Saunders on Monday in response to Andrew Loku's death.

Loku was shot by police on July 5 at an apartment complex near Rogers Road and Caledonia Road when he refused to comply with demands to drop a hammer, then reportedly approached the officers.

Andrew Loku was a father of five wielding a hammer at his apartment complex when he was shot by police for refusing to comply with orders. (Handout photo)
Black Lives Matter says Loku, a 45-year-old man from South Sudan, was distressed at the time of the incident and was not a threat to the officers. 

"Andrew Loku's murder by the police is a traumatic experience for black people in Toronto," said Black Lives Matter representative Sandy Hudson in a news release. "We are enraged."

The group is calling for charges to be laid against the officers involved in the shooting. It also wants the officers to be identified, and video footage of the incident to be made public.

The demands, which the oganization wants fulfilled by Wednesday afternoon, also include monetary compensation for Loku's family and public apologies from the mayor and police chief.

Ontario's Special Investigations Unit (SIU) — an independent civilian law enforcement agency that investigates cases of death, serious injury or sexual assault involving police — is looking into the incident. The SIU's probe also limits what Toronto police can say about the incident. 

However, Mayor John Tory's office has already commented on the case.

The mayor's office issued the following statement Monday:

"The mayor is deeply concerned any time someone is killed or seriously injured during an interaction with police. He is very sorry for the family of Andrew Loku ... Before we jump to any conclusions, we should let the SIU complete its work. The mayor is hopeful that once the SIU has completed its investigation Mr. Loku's family and the community will have their answers they seek."

The SIU said its investigation into Loku's death is ongoing.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.