A Statement on Police Violence and Black Lives
June 2, 2020
From the mainstream media, to medical and police reports, to speaking with friends and family, people use passive language to obfuscate police violence against Black people: Regis Korchinski-Paquet ‘fell to her death’; Tony McDade was caught in an ‘officer-involved shooting’; George Floyd’s cause of death was ‘Homicide By Asphyxia’; lynching was something that Ahmaud Arbery was ‘subjected to.’ When people obscure the actors and actions that took place, they often protect the speaker and/or audiences from facing the truth. While we should remain sensitive to the way Black death is circulated on social media, we need to be clear: the police killed these people.
Remember what is at stake. Please read the names of Black Canadians killed by police or law enforcement:
As of May 29, 2020: Jermaine Carby, Andrew Loku, Pierre Coriolan, Marc Ekamba-Boekwa, Olando Brown, O’Brien Christopher-Reid, Andrew “Buddy” Evans, Albert Johnson, Michael Sargeant, Leander Savoury, Lester Donaldson, Raymond Lawrence, Ian Coley, Albert Moses, Tommy Anthony Barnett, Andrew Bramwell, Henry Musaka, Alexander Manon, Eric Osawe, Michael Eligon, Reyal Jensen Jardine-Douglas, Machaur Madut, Nicholas Gibbs, Bony Jean-Pierre, Kwasi Skene-Peters, Abdirhaman Ibrahim Hassan, Rene Gallant, Frank Anthony Berry, Daniel Clause, Alexander Wetlaufer, Duane Christian, Abdirahman Abdi, D’Andre Campbell, Regis Korchinski-Paquet.
This list is incomplete, as no Canadian government agency maintains national statistics.
WE SUPPORT THE FOLLOWING CALLS TO ACTION, AS OUTLINED BY LOCAL BLACK ACTIVISTS AND ORGANIZERS:
We demand the defunding of the Waterloo Regional Police Services (WRPS), with resources reallocated to upstream prevention and community initiatives, including income supports, healthcare, and education. We call on elected officials to prioritize the expansion of community-led health and safety initiatives over future financial investment into the WRPS.
We demand the immediate removal of the Community Outreach Program (COPs) in our racialized and poor neighbourhoods, as well as the removal of the School Resource Officer (SRO) program from our Region’s schools, as these are the first steps in the school-to-prison pipeline.
We demand the defunding of campus police, with those resources used to meaningfully support marginalized and impoverished Black and Indigenous students.
If you’re not familiar with defunding, understand why defunding is necessary, how we can prioritize other key social services, and why this is relevant to Canada.
In love and solidarity,
The editors and staff of Textile