Toronto hate crimes unit ends Don Jail racism probe
Jail guard's racism complaints sent back to local police division
The hate crimes unit at the Toronto Police Service is no longer investigating racist hate mail targeting a black guard at the Don Jail.
CBC News reported Monday that the guard, Leroy Cox, has asked Ontario's Human Rights Tribunal for an investigation into racist graffiti and hate mail targeting black officers. The complaint suggests the racism originates with other staff at the Toronto Jail, commonly known as the Don Jail.
Cox's lawyer, Julian Falconer, wrote a letter in 2010 to Toronto police alleging that mail sent to the jail advocated "for the killing of black correctional officers," prompting the Toronto Police Service to open a separate hate-crimes investigation.
Cox had believed that probe was still open, but learned on Monday that his case had been transferred back to officers at 55 Division, the local police detachment near the jail.
Falconer said it shows police are not taking the case seriously.
"It takes a certain level of expertise to understand and carry out these investigations," Falconer said. "What a profound disappointment to find out, without any notice, that this has basically slipped its way back to the local divisions. Obviously one has to question how seriously they're taking it if they never even bothered to inform Mr. Cox."
Cox is disappointed. He said he hadn't heard from the detective in a year.
He hopes the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario will investigate the letters, which he says started seven years ago.
The province's Minister of Correctional Services, Madeleine Meilleur, refused to comment on the human-rights case while it is being considered, but she did speak out about abuse.
"If someone is [a] victim of discrimination, [they] should bring it to their authorities and action will be taken," she said.
The Ministry offered to transfer Cox to another jail, but he says he no longer wants to work in a provincial jail because he no longer feels safe.
With files from CBC's Jasmin Seputis