BARRIE, ON, July 11, 2018 /CNW/ - Black Lives Matter – Toronto (BLM – TO) activists held a press conference at Barrie Police Station with the family of Olando Brown, who was killed by Barrie Police on June 22. The 32-year old was carded and then subsequently brutally tackled, beaten and tased multiple times by police officers whose names have been hidden from the public. BLM – TO released a set of demands and held a silent demonstration for Olando.
"Olando was tased multiple times. The Barrie police took him from his family, his 11-year-old daughter, and his community," said Ravyn Wngz, a Black Lives Matter – Toronto organizer. "How much more can Black people in the province endure? The police need to be held accountable."
Shortly after the news that Olando Brown had been killed, new Conservative Premier Doug Ford announced that he would scrap the Police Oversight Act; measures that the previous government implemented to address police violence against the Black community. The measures would have included the public release of all Special Investigations Unit reports, video footage and audio recordings of police interactions where members of the public are harmed or killed, penalties for police officers who refused to cooperate with investigations into their conduct, and mandatory anti-racism training for police.
"Now is not the time to be rolling back measures to keep our community safe," said Sandy Hudson, co-founder of Black Lives Matter – Toronto. "Doug Ford said he supports the Black community by bringing Black kids to his cottage. How about actually addressing our needs and making sure we don't continue to be targeted and killed by police in this province? We want this brutality to end, not an afternoon in a millionaire's lakefront vacation home."
In conjunction with the Olando Brown family, Black Lives Matter – Toronto released the following demands:
Black Lives Matter - Toronto, on behalf of the family of Olando Brown demand the following:
- The immediate release of the names of the officers who killed Olando Brown.
- Charges to be laid against the officers who killed Olando Brown.
- A confirmation that the police officers who killed Olando Brown are off the streets.
- The immediate and public release of any video footage from the public space where Olando Brown was brutalized.
- A date, no longer than four weeks, confirming when the SIU will conclude an initial investigation.
- A condemnation of Barrie Police's intimidation and harassment tactics against the Olando Brown family.
- The immediate implementation of the Policing Oversight Act.
- A commitment from the Province of Ontario for the true elimination and prohibition of carding (police checks) and anti-Black racist policing
- Olando Brown's Funeral Expenses to be paid for by the City of Barrie
- The disarmament of police services in Ontario.
- The fulfillment of any such demands from the Brown Family in Barrie including but not limited to a full account of what took place inside the police station.
- Counselling and support services (both formal and community-developed) for family and community members who witnessed and were impacted by the killing of Olando Brown.
Black Lives Matter – Toronto is the Toronto chapter of #BlackLivesMatter, an international organization and movement fighting police and State violence and anti-Black racism.
SOURCE Black Lives Matter Canada