Disarm cops, says group protesting shooting of teen

A group calling itself Disarm Toronto Police and claiming to be “upset at another Toronto police shooting” of a youth, protested on Queen E. between Eaton Centre and The Bay, stopping traffic and a fire engine for at least a time as they burned a pig in effigy Sunday night around 8pm, then disbursed.

Burns a ‘pig’ in effigy

The group demands the disarmament of front line police officers. An unnamed 18 year old boy was shot at 10-15 times by four Toronto police officers in a crowded subway station on Friday, December 13, 2013. Witnesses said the young man was non-threatening, and seemed to be dealing with mental health issues.

“They shot somebody who was clearly having a mental breakdown,” said Sakura Saunders, 34, one of the protestors.

“Toronto Police have a long history of shooting racialized and poor youth and people with mental health disabilities first and asking questions later,” says Disarm Toronto Police in a news release.

“Prominent cases include Sammy Yatim, Junior Manon, Michael Eligon, Reyal Jardine-Douglas, Sylvia Klibingaitis, Charles McGillivary, Alwy Al-Nadhir and many others, the group says. “It is high time that front line police officers in Toronto go the way of other advanced countries and be disarmed.

“In England and Wales, front line police officers don’t carry guns, only specially trained officers do and they rarely pull the trigger. In a one-year period ending in 2011, English and Welsh cops discharged their firearms only four times in a territory inhabited by more than 56 million people. Last year, Toronto police fired their guns in the same number of incidents in a city of only 2.8 million. The Toronto police have killed 15 people since August 2011, 8 of them shot to death.

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is probing the circumstances surrounding the shooting at the subway station at Yonge Street and Queen St. Toronto, that occurred at approximately 8 p.m. Friday.

Ontario’s police watchdog says it’s believed four officers opened fire inside the Queen Street subway station, wounding a youth in an incident that eyewitnesses described as sending a ripple of panic through transit riders.

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