Premier heeds call by Black Lives Matter

Premier Kathleen Wynne meets Black Lives Matter  protesters at Queen’s Park. Yusra Khogali (insert)
Premier Kathleen Wynne meets Black Lives Matter
protesters at Queen’s Park. Yusra Khogali (insert)

Premier Kathleen Wynne pledged to meet with Black Lives Matter activists to address racism and police violence in Toronto, stating that “We are undertaking a review of the SIU, the Special Investigations Unit. We are reviewing all of the police oversight bodies.”

Wynne called on the movement to help her as they are on the front line of the issue.

Meanwhile, Black Lives Matter’s Toronto group has come under fire over a tweet by one of its co-founders.

On Feb. 9, Yusra Khogali tweeted, “Plz Allah give me strength to not cuss / kill these men and white folks out here today. Plz plz plz.”

The tweet has since been deleted.

Wynne said she can’t speak to the actions of one individual.

“I have no idea what the connection between a random tweet from one person – the connection between that and the position of the group,” she told reporters.

“My hope would be that what that young woman tweeted has nothing to do with the position of the group as a whole.”

When Wynne first met with the protesters Monday at Queen’s Park during a protest, her comments about police on racism drew fire from Toronto police union head Mike McCormack.

Toronto City Council has unanimously passed a motion demanding the province review policing and the Special Investigations Unit that critics say probes police shootings through an anti-Black lens.

Black Lives Matter had been camped at police headquarters at 40 College St. for two weeks, saying that                                                                                                                                  “We will be here for as long as it takes.” However, they dismantled that camp this week after the protest at the Legislature.

Black Lives Matter in Toronto is a mixed bag of Caribbean and Canadian born protesters including professionals and students. They demand reforms to the way police misconduct is investigated and want criminal charges for officers involved in the shooting death last July of Andrew Loku, a Black man holding a hammer.

Wynne waded in among the Black Lives Matter protesters at Queen’s Park this week, telling them “I am here because it is such an important issue. And in my heart, I believe that we all need to work together to make sure we get this right. I am saying that we are willing to meet with you.

“We are going to need to have your help,” Wynne said.