It seems that unprovoked attacks are becoming the norm – so that once again Black Mothers fear for their son’s lives.
A young black man -Defonte Miller-out with his friends was beaten viciously and severely injured by two white adults. The attack raises the spectre of behaviours that most of us thought were confined to the US South prior to the Selma marches.
Young Defonte Miller is lucky to have escaped with his life. But what a life it will now become, for it is forever scarred by the brutality of an off-duty cop and his civilian brother. It is a horrendous situation for his entire family.
It is absolutely despicable that young people of colour are being harassed, intimidated and brutalized by those who are charged with ensuring public safety and security.
How can Black youth have confidence in the police? Defonte it appears was doing nothing wrong (all charges have been dropped against him).
What message does this send to Black youth who may need the protection of the law if the law is applied selectively or used against them? What message does it send to the families of Black youth and indeed to all people of colour who may seek the protection of the justice system in Ontario?
The UARR urges the Government to move swiftly to ensure that an incident of this kind never happens again. The Premier and the Minister for Community Safety must act decisively to bring justice to Defonte and his family to restore the public’s confidence in our justice system. The Mayor’s of Toronto and Whitby and their respective councils must respond immediately.
And now more than ever, they should demonstrate their support for this young Black man and his family.
Board of Directors UARR
Nigel Barriffe, President
Urban Alliance on Race Relations
2 Carlton Street, Suite 1001
Toronto, Ontario M5B 1J3
Tel: 416-703-6607 Ext. 1