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Toronto police board postpones weighing anti-racism report to hold consultations


June 19, 2020
By The Canadian Press

TORONTO — The body that oversees the Toronto Police Service says it will postpone weighing a report on anti-Black racism until broader public consultations are conducted on the issue.

The Toronto Police Services Board was originally set to consider the report, which contains eight recommendations aimed at combating racism in the force, at a meeting Friday.

In a statement issued this afternoon, the board says the decision comes after the public and stakeholders called for additional time to consider and discuss the recommendations.
It says the board would also like to wait until Toronto city council meets later this month, since that meeting will also tackle issues related to policing.

The board says it will lay out a forum to allow public input on police accountability and reform, set to take place the week of July 6.

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It says all those who signed up to speak at Friday’s meeting are urged to take part in the public forum, and to make deputations when the report is brought back before the board.

The report comes after two Toronto city councillors said they would introduce a motion to defund the police service by 10 per cent and use the money for community resources.

The document acknowledged the importance of supporting those resources, but challenges the call to redirect police funding.

The eight suggestions in the report include revisiting the police budget and bolstering mental health services.

The document proposes to expand the Mobile Crisis Intervention Team Program “on an urgent basis,” with funding from the current budget.

It also recommends funding enhanced public consultations for the force’s annual budget, starting in September.

The list was developed in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a Black Minneapolis man who died while a white cop pressed a knee to his neck for more than eight minutes.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on June 18, 2020.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2020