Canada: Police Crackdown On Toronto Black Lives Matter Protest

Above Photo: Police emerged from their headquarters to take down a protest camp set up by the Black Lives Matter movement, Toronto, Canada, March 21, 2016. | Photo: Twitter / @ChrisAReynolds

Protesters said their encampment was attacked by police officers.
Police shutdown a Black Lives Matter protest that had set up a camp in front of police headquarters in downtown Toronto Monday.

Police reportedly forcibly removed the tents set up by demonstrators and had firefighters on hand doused the fire started by the demonstrators in order to keep warm.

A Twitter account associated with the protest reported that organizers from the Black Lives Matter Toronto group had been assaulted by Toronto police as they dismantled the impromptu camp.

Demonstrators shared accounts of the police raid on social media, describing the police response as heavy handed. One demonstrator said that police grabbed a protestor by the throat as they cleared the site of tents.

No arrests were made.

Police withdrew after dismantling the protest camp and demonstrators signal their intent to rebuild the camp and stay the night.

The protest had begun Sunday in front of Toronto City Hall but moved to police headquarters after security and police threatened to forcibly remove them.

The group is protesting the decision by Special Investigations Unit (SIU) to not charge a police officer who was involved in the shooting death of Andrew Loku in July 2015.

The Special Investigations Unit is a provincial police body that investigates cases where police are involved in a death or serious harm of a civilian. The body also determines whether or not charges should be laid but has been routinely criticized for decided the use-of-force was justified in the vast majority of cases.

In a case that made headlines throughout Canada, the SIU recommended charges against Toronto police Officer James Forcillo in the shooting death of Sammy Yatim, an incident that was captured on video and led to widespread protests against police brutality.