Apr 06, 2016

By Jane Brown

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Comments made by Premier Kathleen Wynne to Black Lives Matter protesters at Queen’s Park the other day have upset the president of the Toronto Police Association.

Mike McCormack says the Black Lives Matter movement is trying to “drive a wedge between the public and the police” and that the statements made by the premier play right into their hand.

“Within the context of what was going on there, it’s reasonable for us and anybody else to draw the conclusion, she is talking about policing, and I’m very troubled about that,” McCormack explained.

Defending the premier is Michael Coteau, Ontario’s Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism.

“What the premier said is that systemic racism exists in Ontario. She didn’t point to any particular group. We know that systemic racism is here in Ontario. That’s why we set up the anti-racism directorate,” Coteau said.

The protesters have asked for the province to reform the Special Investigations Unit and to publicly name all officers who’ve fatally shot people while on duty, regardless of whether the killing was deemed to be justified.

They are asking for an apology from Toronto Police for the shooting death of a 45 year old black man, named Andrew Loku, last July.

But now there is controversy about a member of the Black Lives Matter group. On February 9th, co-founder Yusra Khogali tweeted, “Plz Allah give me strength to not cuss/kill these men and white folks out here today”. The post has been deleted. Black Lives Matter organizer Sandy Hudson says she won’t comment on this post, saying a lot of people were upset by the SIU decision and the media is focusing on the wrong issue.

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