Police investigate racist signs left at Finch West station
Katherine DeClerq, CP24.com
Published Friday, June 19, 2020 6:24PM EDT
Toronto police say they are aware of a reported hate crime in which racist signs denouncing the Black Lives Matter movement were left at a TTC subway station overnight.
In a statement issued on Friday, the CEO of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) said that he became aware of the June 11 incident at Finch West Station on Wednesday night.
“Four vile, racist signs denouncing the Black Lives Matter movement were left scattered around the station,” Rick Leary said.
“This is not something any of us should have to be subjected to anywhere, any time. I cannot begin to truly understand what it is like to be constantly subjected to systemic racism, but I can speak for myself and the TTC when I say we unequivocally condemn anti-Black racism or discrimination of any kind; and the TTC has an obligation to speak out and take aggressive actions to stop it.”
Leary proceeded to apologize for taking so long to address this “disgusting act,” saying that he has been asked to be notified immediately of any similar incidents in the future.
The TTC is working with Toronto police to identify the people responsible, Leary said.
A spokesperson for the Toronto police said that they were called to the station around 7:30 a.m. on June 11. They believe the incident occurred at some point around 2:30 a.m.
No further details were released regarding what was on the signs left at the subway station.
The investigation is ongoing and the Toronto Police Service’s Hate Crime Unit has been notified.
“An attack like this is an attack on the entire TTC family of employees,” Leary said. “To think that anyone would be afraid while doing their job is completely unacceptable to me and we need to shine a light on racism wherever and whenever it occurs, and do our part to put an end to it.”
Leary’s statement comes as hundreds gathered in downtown Toronto on Friday calling for the defunding of police amid a growing worldwide anti-Black racism movement.
The protest was held to mark the Juneteenth holiday, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.
“Around the world we are seeing people grieving, angry and rising up to speak out against anti-Black racism in all its forms,” Leary said. “People are demanding real, meaningful and lasting change; as am I because Black Lives Matter.”