Sunday, July 8, 2018
Toronto, more half of murder victime so far in 2018 are black. Where is BLM?
Until Toronto Police discontinued the controversial practice of street checks, Black Lives Matter pressed and protested to end “carding,” along with anti-gang TAVIS units and cops in schools.But the activist group has fallen silent as gun violence spirals out of control and young black men die at an alarming rate. Of 52 homicides in this city so far this year, 23 victims were black (44.2%). That number jumps to 55% when the 10 victims of the Yonge St. van attack is excluded.And alarmingly, of the 25 victims killed by guns in the first half of this year, 17 were black — 16 men and one woman accounting for 68% of all victims murdered by a gun. Those are frightening statistics from a community that represents just 9% of Toronto residents, according to Statistics Canada.Too many young black men are dying and too often gang violence is a factor.“I don’t blame Black Lives Matter, I blame the idiots who listened to them,” retired Toronto police Staff-Insp. Mike Earl, who headed up the Holdup Squad until 2017. “It’s the politicians who caved into their demands and made huge changes without having all the facts.”
“They have to take responsibility for the mess the city is in right now,” he added bluntly.Earl served the city for nearly 40 years and was a no-nonsense cop who predicted the brewing storm a few years ago.While many of his fellow officers have shared their views privately few will speak publicly for fear of damaging their careers.That’s what veteran Sgt. Mark Hayward is now dealing with after writing a scathing letter to Mayor John Tory — as a private citizen — that has been applauded by cops across the service.
Earl was also outspoken about the increased violence before retiring in 2017.He believes the city, province and feds share in the blame for making sweeping changes that law-abiding citizens are now paying for — sometimes with their blood.Earl and other frontline cops told the Sun there have been a number of factors contributing to the whopping 145% increase in shooting victims over the past three years.Changes that include:– Removing officers from schools, cutting police resources and reducing the police service by more than 700 officers;– Opening safe injection sites;– Disbanding of the TAVIS program that saw cops policing proactively until it was scrubbed at the end of 2016.
Then mix in the scrapping of mandatory minimum sentences for gun crimes and a justice system that repeatedly grants bail to dangerous criminals at a time when there are not enough cops to check up on those individuals and ensure they are following their bail conditions.Earl said the three levels of government have created the perfect storm.“Now it’s just a runaway train,” he said. “It’s going to take a lot of people and a lot of work to slow the train down and turn things around.”The city went from a record 52 gun murders in 2005 to a 25-year low of 51 murders in 2011 and is now on a pace to set a new record for homicides — all in just 13 years.It’s quite likely that 2018’s death tally will surpass the record 86 killings in 1991 when the city was being ravaged by the crack cocaine epidemic.
Black Lives Matter, whose representatives could not be reached for comment, began protesting in Toronto in late 2014 after a white officer killed a black man in Ferguson, Mo. But in Toronto, unlike U.S. cities, many of their complaints revolved around the black community being hassled by cops rather than being shot by them.Since efforts not to offend the public kicked into high gear, shootings and gun murders have spiked and many of the victims have been black men. More often than not it’s also black men pulling the trigger.Mayor Tohn Tory said recently that Chief Mark Saunders has made it clear 90% of the gun violence is tied to gang activity.
“The gang problem in Toronto is like a boiling pot of potatoes and the police do all they can to hold the lid on,” Earl said. “But police no longer have the ability to hold the lid on and keep this stuff at bay.”“We had the foot on the pedal, but we’ve taken the foot off the gas and a lot of good work has been undone,” he added.
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