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Toronto Police Board Meeting Taken Over With "Black Lives Matter" Chant

They're demanding action after a man was shot and killed by police earlier this month.

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A scheduled Toronto Police Services Board meeting came to a standstill Thursday after a disruption from the local chapter of Black Lives Matter.

Contingent from #BlackLivesMatter interrupt police services board mtg demanding answers after death of Andrew Loku

The group is demanding action after a South Sudanese man, Andrew Loku, was shot to death by police earlier this month.

Fatal police shooting of #AndrewLoku: 'Andrew didn't even have a chance to open his mouth'

Loku, 45, was allegedly holding a hammer when police arrived at his Toronto apartment. A witness said he was shot within moments of police arriving on the scene, before words could be exchanged.

Community organizers said Loku had been suffering from mental health issues.

In the wake of Loku's death, a coalition of community groups — including Black Lives Matters — came together and asked the Toronto Police to examine how race and mental health intersect with their work.

At today's meeting, members of Black Lives Matter-Toronto interrupted the proceedings first with a call for a moment of silence for Loku, then with a list of demands.

Protesters interrupt Police Services Board meeting calling for Mayor & Chief to address murder of Andrew Loku

In unison, the group read a list of six demands calling for action from both the police and Toronto Mayor John Tory, who was present at the meeting.

Selana Ross/Globe and Mail / Via

In addition to the previous recommendations, those demands are:

1. The immediate release of the names of the officer(s) who Killed Andrew Loku.
2. The immediate and public release of the video footage from the apartment complex where Andrew Loku was murdered.
3. A public apology from the Mayor John Tory, Mark Saunders and the Toronto Police Department for their actions and the trauma that they have inflicted on the Black community.
4. The funeral of Andrew Loku to be funded completely by the Toronto Police department.
5. Charges to be laid against the officers who killed Andrew Loku.
6. Monetary compensation for the family of Andrew Loku for the damages caused by the Toronto Police department.

"Andrew Loku's murder by the police is a traumatic experience for Black people in Toronto. We are enraged," said Sandy Hudson, a representative of Black Lives Matter-Toronto, in a statement.

"Andrew Loku was working to provide a better life for his family overseas. He was a former child soldier, a refugee from South Sudan, and described by many as kind-hearted. Where is the justice? "

The room was then filled with the chant: "Black lives matter."

Selana Ross/Globe and Mail / Via

"We're asking you to take action, or we will."

Black Lives Matter-Toronto protest at police board #TOpoli

The meeting was temporarily suspended as at least one protester was reportedly removed from the room.

Meanwhile, as this was unfolding, Mayor Tory tweeted this.

Yeezus, can't believe I didn’t know @KimKardashian’s husband wasn't Canadian! #Topoli #KanyeWest

Lauren Strapagiel is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada.

Contact Lauren Strapagiel at

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