The Current

Black Lives Matter TO protest demands SIU overhaul, Premier vows review

Black Lives Matter protesters took on the Ontario Legislature demanding accountability and transparency from the Special Investigations Unit that looks into deaths and injury at the hands of police. Protesters gave Premier Wynne 300 hours to make good on her pledge of a review.
Black Lives Matter protesters ask Premier Wynne why it's taken two weeks for a response. 8:04
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No justice. No peace. No racist police. You are killing us every single day. We are not moving. We are staying. This is about defending our lives. This is a peaceful protest to defend our lives.- Black Lives Matter protester outside of Toronto police headquarters 
Black Lives Matter protesters at city hall on April 1, 2016. They are calling on the province to ensure police services and investigations are fair and transparent. (CBC)
 For two weeks, Toronto's Black Lives Matter protesters camped outside police headquarters in downtown Toronto. The demonstration began after Ontario's Special Investigations Unit — the SIU  — cleared police of wrongdoing in the shooting death of Andrew Loku.  The South Sudanese man was holding a hammer when he was killed in July 2015, in the hallway outside his apartment by an unnamed police officer. 

A group of Black Lives Matter protesters occupy a space in front of Toronto Police HQ after the Special Investigations Unit cleared a Toronto police officer of any wrongdoing in the shooting death of 45-year-old Andrew Loku. (Cole Burston/Canadian Press)

Protesters' demands included a review of the SIU, and on April 1, 2016, Toronto city council voted unanimously on a motion calling for the province to review the police and the SIU through an "anti-racism" lens.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne met briefly with local organizers of Black Lives Matter outside Queen's Park, April 4, 2016. (Pierre-Olivier Bernatchez/CBC)

Then on April 4, 2016, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne walked out of the Legislature building and spoke to the Black Lives Matter protesters gathered on the grounds and vowed that a review of the SIU would take place.

We are undertaking a review of the SIU. We are reviewing all the police oversight bodies... You are on the frontline. You understand these issues. We need your help in those reviews. We are going to need to have some private meetings ahead of time but we are willing to have public meetings.- Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to Black Lives Matter protesters

Following the exchange with Wynne, protesters packed up their makeshift camp and gave the province 300 hours to make good on the Premier's promise.

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This segment was produced by The Current's Pacinthe Mattar and Josh Bloch.
 

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