Charges laid after man shows up to anti-Black racism protest dressed in blackface, Toronto police say
Published Tuesday, June 9, 2020 1:37PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 9, 2020 2:05PM EDT
Toronto police say charges have now been laid after a man showed up to a peaceful anti-Black racism protest wearing blackface over the weekend.
Protesters gathered at Nathan Phillips Square on Saturday afternoon to participate in a rally calling for an end to anti-Black racism and during the event, a man showed up dressed in blackface.
Police say officers on scene spoke to the man and he was subsequently arrested for breaching the peace.
A suspect, who has now been identified by investigators as 28-year-old Deivis Shtembari, has been charged with causing a disturbance.
He is scheduled to appear in court at Old City Hall on July 16.
Police are asking anyone with additional information about the incident to come forward.
Thousands of people gathered for two separate demonstrations in the city’s downtown core on Saturday to protest anti-Black racism.
Demonstrations have been held around the world following the death of George Floyd, who was killed in Minneapolis last week after a police officer placed his knee against Floyd's neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, an incident that was caught on video.
Both Mayor John Tory and Police Chief Mark Saunders thanked Toronto protesters for marching together peacefully this weekend.
“The last few days have been such a confirmation of sort of who we are and what we are as a city,” Tory said on Sunday.
“We know that anti-Black racism, and racism on a number of fronts, is still a significant issue here, as far as we've come…The message has been heard loud and clear.”