Trudeau pledges to fight racism on the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd – National –

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Trudeau pledges to fight racism on the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd – National – fr


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reaffirmed his commitment to tackling anti-black racism and injustice on Tuesday, as advocates around the world mark the first anniversary of George Floyd’s death.

Floyd, a black man, was killed in Minneapolis a year ago after then-officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for 9 and a half minutes. Chauvin was later convicted of murder, while three other dismissed officers await trial.

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The incident sparked a storm of protests around the world as protesters called on leaders to tackle systemic racism within law enforcement agencies, including in Canada.









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Speaking on Tuesday, Trudeau acknowledged the lingering problem.

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“Mr. Floyd’s death was a tragedy,” he said, speaking to reporters at a press conference.

“And it was a reminder that there are still too many people living with anti-black racism and injustice, including here in Canada.

He said the government took action after Canadians “walked to demand change” last summer, including establishing the black entrepreneurship program and proposing to remove “ineffective” mandatory minimum sentences from the Code. criminal.

“Our government is working with black communities across the country to make sure no one is left behind,” he said.

“We will continue to take concrete steps to combat systemic racism and create more opportunity for Black Canadians and for everyone.”

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The weeks following Floyd’s murder highlighted systemic discrimination in law enforcement institutions in Canada, prompting many protesters and experts to call on the government to dispel the police.

“I think it is unfortunate that we have come to a point in our society where the police are becoming the first responders to people who are going through a mental health crisis,” said Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Toronto at Mississauga, in an interview with The Canadian Press last June.

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“What we should do is get this money back, dismantle the police, and turn it over to mental health professionals who are better equipped to help these people.”


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Discussions about deferral of funding have intensified following high-profile incidents of violent interactions with police. In June 2020, dashcam footage showed the violent arrest of Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation.

The 12-minute video showed Adam – shouting profanity – walking between his car and a police car. An RCMP officer suddenly charged Adam, pinning him to the ground and punching him in the head.

The RCMP initially declared the officer’s actions reasonable, but then opened an investigation into the incident.

That same month, dashcam footage of Adam’s arrest surfaced, RCMP officers in New Brunswick killed Rodney Levi, a 48-year-old man from the Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation. He died just weeks after another local police service killed Chantel Moore of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation.

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When pressed about the possibility of withdrawing police funding at the time, Trudeau did not rule it out.

“I think there are many different ways to make a better country. We have to explore the spectrum, ”he said at the time.

Since then, however, Trudeau has shown no interest in pursuing calls to strike off the police. While the government’s fall throne speech spoke directly to anti-black racism and discrimination plans, it did not mention the possibility of withdrawing police funding.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh also weighed in on the anniversary of Floyd’s murder on Tuesday.

“At the time, what we collectively witnessed was one of the most brutal and widely shared captures of a black man killed by police,” Singh said.

“We were not isolated in Canada – we saw that the police were also responsible for the deaths of Canadians in Canada.”


Click to play the video: 'Rev.  New York Mayor Al Sharpton kneels for 9 minutes 29 seconds on the 1st anniversary of George Floyd's death '







New York Mayor Reverend Al Sharpton kneels for 9 minutes 29 seconds on the 1st anniversary of George Floyd’s death


New York Mayor Reverend Al Sharpton kneels for 9 minutes 29 seconds on the 1st anniversary of George Floyd’s death

Singh added that although Trudeau knelt with the protesters, he doesn’t think the Prime Minister has taken enough action in the year since.

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“The material conditions of indigenous, black or racialized peoples have not changed. Their experiences in policing have not changed, ”Singh said.

“A year later, after this horrific incident sparked so much positive action and activism, demanding justice, demanding that this end, Justin Trudeau has failed to do so. And I want to note that this is wrong, ”Singh said.

“We must act.”

Speaking on Tuesday, Trudeau said the government’s efforts to tackle systemic racism continue.

“Our government is working with black communities across the country to make sure no one is left behind,” he said.

– with files from The Canada Press, Jane Gerster of Global News

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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