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Global Racism: Activists Call Foul as Toronto Police Shield Officer Who Killed Father of Five

CBC/Radio-Canada

CBC/Radio-Canada

A Canadian police officer allegedly used racial profiling in apprehending Andrew Loku, a 45-year-old Toronto Black man.

The officer remains unnamed after the Special Investigations Unit announced on March 18 that he would not be charged in the murder.

In a press release that day, SIU director Tony Loparco said he was, “satisfied that the subject officer fired his weapon believing it to be necessary to thwart an imminent hammer attack and that the officer’s apprehensions in this regard were reasonable.”

Loku was shot in the chest around midnight in July 2015 by police who thought he was a threat because he was carrying a hammer, CBC reports.

Loku was a father of five, and the decision not to charge the unnamed officer has been met with protests from many – mostly Black – activists. Protesters have camped outside Toronto police headquarters since Sunday night.

In what is the latest in a long line of wrongful killings of Black people, the people of Toronto are angry. Some are upset about the SIU policy to withhold the name of the officer who committed the murder. The government agency has no responsibility to the public. There are questions about why the SIU cannot release the officer’s name, especially if the conclusion was that the cop acted appropriately, according to the Toronto Star.

Black Lives Matter activists are not only in disagreement with the results of the SIU investigation; they’re also furious about other ways that Canadian law enforcement targets Black people. Carding, where police profile minorities by asking for identification and other documents, has long been a practice in Ontario. However, plans have been announced for it to be amended.

Starting Jan. 1, 2017, police must tell people they have the right not to talk to them, and refusal to cooperate cannot be used to force information to be given. The activist group believes these regulations don’t do enough to completely eliminate the carding practice, Global News reports.

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