Monday, June 26, 2017

BADC Closing Arguments - Andrew Loku Inquest (notes)

By Selwyn A. Pieters, B.A., LL.B., L.E.C.
Lawyer & Notary Public (Ontario, Canada)
Attorney-at-Law (Republic of Guyana, Island of Trinidad)
Created June 26, 2017
I want to thank you, members of the jury for taking the time to be here for a case that is of great importance to our communities and taking time out of your lives to be the jury in this case.

Sir Robert Peel stated that "The police are the public and the public are the police." So that if we break this down in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-racial society it means that the police must have experientially interacted with citizens including Black men and women and persons with mental health exceptionalities."

"One of the Black Action Defence Committee (BADC) Directors reminded me at lunch today that we are on one ship so that if we sink you will too.

The Relationship between police and black community must be look at holistically. If relationship continues to be strained and steps aren’t taken to ameliorate that relationship, no one is safe in this city. Black lives matter. Our lives matters.

Constable Doyle testified that he had a Black partner but never had experience interacting with Black men. You heard the evidence of Professor Nicholas Rule where he spoke of the implicit bias and the shift of perception of Black men from "happy go lucky to Black men to being stereotyped as being angry and aggressive."

Implicit bias affects all of us. 35% of all fatal shootings, at least, are black men. This has led to a fear of the police in our communities. So our fear of police is not irrational. There is disparity in policing and how we are policed. That goes to recommendation with respect to compiling of statistics. We want official statistics. We want use of Force form to be amended to document race of person, and mental health issues. Race, gender, ethnicity of anyone killed or seriously hurt. Dr. Rule spoke of being collect and analyze data on implicit bias of individual officers from recruitment to advancement through the service. He also speak of tracking this data on a systemic level. Dr. Kwame McKenzie also spoke of the important of statistics in respect to the institutional racism including the use of force. So for both experts the collection of statistics are important.

We all worked collaboratively to come up with slate. Also join recommendations of Across Boundaries, that speak about intersectionality of mental health and anti-black racism. Some people would want you to believe that racism has nothing to do with this case. Race and mental health is at the core of what this case is about. We are not taking colour blind approach to this case. Race has something to do with it. That’s why this room was filled when Constable Doyle testified. Our community wanted to hear from him. W e are disappointed that the officers said they wouldn’t change anything they did in that same situation.

We have had inquests before where jury recommended tasers. You have seen the evidence that each Toronto Police officer has a gun, three magazines of ammo (15 rounds each). We're arming them for war, not peace.

You job is very important and I echo what Mr. Morton said, it is the most important thing you will do to make recommendations to governments, agencies and the police sop that lives are saved, deaths are prevented.

See also Dr. Carlise ruling on racism

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