Since Black Lives Matter Toronto's sit-in during Pride 2016, many of you have shown woeful levels of misunderstanding of where our community as a whole sits with the police. I've heard several of you say that the police don't pose a threat to LGBT people, because we've made "progress." "The bathhouse raids were 35 years ago. Everything is fine now between LGBT people and the police!" is how the argument goes, as if conflict between police and LGBT people is a thing of the past. What you mean to say is that your battle for your rights (which did not include an agenda for LGBT people of colour) was already hard fought decades ago.
The current inquest into the police killing of Jermaine Carby should serve as a powerful reminder about the deadly consequences of institutional discrimination within the force. Unfortunately, the larger issues raised by this case, specifically, how police deal with blacks and people with mental health issues, likely will not be addressed within the confines of the inquest's recommendations.
Yes, our basic human right to live matters. The fact that our pigmentation is a target of death and destruction is a crime against humanity. We are in the midst of one of the world's longest -- and visible -- genocides. But what happens when we are no longer just treated like raccoons? The omnipresent pest of city streets, devoid of human dignity, one to be exterminated and only recognized upon our untimely deaths?
Mandatory body cameras sound like a terrific answer to holding police accountable for their actions, but the reality is that these cameras will not save Black lives, nor will they even give victims of state-sanctioned violence the justice they and their families deserve.