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Ontario Is Holding An Inquest Into The Death Of Andrew Loku, Who Was Shot Dead By Police

The inquest follows a two-week protest for police accountability by Black Lives Matter.

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Ontario is holding an inquest into the death of Andrew Loku, who was killed in a confrontation with Toronto Police in July 2015.

Dr. James Edwards, a Toronto-area coroner, announced the inquest on Wednesday. He told BuzzFeed Canada the public hearing will be about examining the circumstances of Loku's death and developing recommendations to prevent future deaths like it.

Loku, a 45-year-old father of five from South Sudan, was living in a building for people with mental illness at the time of his death. According to police, Loku was agitated and made threats, and he was shot after he refused to drop a hammer.

Black Lives Matter Toronto held a two-week protest outside Toronto Police headquarters after no charges were laid against the officer who killed Loku.

Cole Burston / The Canadian Press

An inquest into Loku's death was one of the group's key demands. Loku's family, the Canadian Mental Health Association, and other advocacy groups also called for an inquest.

According to Black Lives Matter Toronto co-founder Sandy Hudson, witnesses to Loku's death contradict the police version of events. The group issued a press release calling the inquest "a major victory for Loku's family and community."

Dr. Edwards said he couldn't “get into specifics” about what motivated the inquest, but he acknowledged that there is “significant public interest” in the case.

No date has been set as of yet.

Ishmael Daro is a social news editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Toronto.

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at ishmael.daro@buzzfeed.com.

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