Black community reps pen open letter to John Tory and Doug Ford on gun violence

Black community reps pen open letter to John Tory and Doug Ford on gun violence

Gun Rights

At a recent meeting of the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB), a motion by Mayor John Tory seeking $4 million from City Council to install new surveillance technology known as ShotSpotter in predominantly Black communities was passed. The microphone technology, which is already being used in predominantly Black communities in many cities in the U.S. as well as Cape Town, South Africa , is designed to identify the location where shots are fired, but has been widely criticized for its lack of accuracy and oversight. In addition to the decision to install this technology, the Mayor has announced plans to deploy 200 additional officers to police these communities between the hours of 7 pm and 3 am, ostensibly in response to a recent rise in shooting incidents. The measures go before council today. These initiatives will only further barricade and quarantine Black communities that are already under economic pressure from government policies ushering in an unprecedented era of unaffordable housing and meagre job prospects for young people. Mayor Tory has made it clear that the shootings in predominantly Black communities and elsewhere in the City are the work of “thugs,” “sewer rats,” and gangs – racist and dehumanizing language that is reserved, it appears, for when the perpetrator is alleged to be Black. This City and its leaders have historically relied on harsh and deadly policing measures when dealing with Toronto’s Black communities. For example, the Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS), which Ontario Premier Doug Ford has signaled he […]

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