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To: Mayor John Tory and Toronto City Council

Defund Toronto Police Services - Invest in Communities Instead

Keep poor and primarily racialized communities safe from police violence. Defund the Toronto Police Services and invest in proven, safe and just alternatives like increased mental health services, housing initiatives, harm reduction services, education, social workers, and other vital community-led health and safety initiatives. [1][2]

Why is this important?

With uprisings in the US and protests happening across the country, people are looking towards leaders to take concrete action to hold police accountable.

In Toronto, Black people are 20 times more likely to be shot dead by the police, and account for 70% of deadly police shootings even though Black people make up only 10% of the population. [3]

The increase in police violence against poor and racialized communities comes despite a ballooning police budget which, at $1.076 billion, is almost 25% of the city’s entire budget — more than firefighters, paramedics, social services and public housing combined. [4]

Instead of safety, communities are experiencing increased militarization and criminalization — with Toronto police buying military-grade weaponry, sound cannons, and surveillance technology. [5]

Body cams, civilian reviews, and implicit bias training aren’t working to reduce police violence. [6] Defunding the Toronto police and moving resources into community-led, non-violent public safety and outreach initiatives will reduce the harm policing causes and keep communities safe.

Initiatives like trained mental health first responders showing up to de-escalate crisis situations — and other alternatives to deadly police encounters that have been successful elsewhere. [7-8]

Black-led movements, leaders, and justice organizations are calling for defunding the Toronto police. Sign the petition to support these calls for better community safety and justice for the Black community.

For the full set of demands, or to send a letter to Toronto city councillors so they hear directly from residents, go to: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1roduncOZ_y0C_oWIMIQ6yV-13fZqck0i54RZoPSwYBw/edit
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Sources:
[1] 2020 Toronto Police Budget - Call For Action/Defunding, https://docs.google.com/document/d/1roduncOZ_y0C_oWIMIQ6yV-13fZqck0i54RZoPSwYBw/edit
[2] The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/31/the-answer-to-police-violence-is-not-reform-its-defunding-heres-why
[3] The Guardian,
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/10/toronto-black-residents-more-likely-shot-dead-ontario-human-rights-commission-report
[4] Global News, https://globalnews.ca/news/6304853/toronto-police-2020-budget/
[5-6] The Huffington Post, https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/defund-police-canada-black-indigenous-lives_ca_5ed65eb2c5b6ccd7c56bdf7d
[7] The Wall Street Journal, https://www.wsj.com/articles/when-mental-health-experts-not-police-are-the-first-responders-1543071600
[8] The American Sociological Review https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0003122417736289


Reasons for signing

  • Most police officers I see are either lazy, unreasonable, demonstrate substantial lack of judgement, act irrationally or are on a serious power trip. They need to be better educated on how to do their jobs properly.
  • One of my best friends is a WOC who was attacked in Toronto a few years back--by a white man. The Toronto Police Service did nothing, and her attacker got away while she dealt with doctors appointments and recovering from the head injuries he left her with. TPS is not equipped to help in these situations. Defund the police and fund social services so that this never happens to another person.
  • BLM ACAB defund the police

Updates

2020-07-16 15:02:04 -0400

5,000 signatures reached

2020-06-07 16:54:53 -0400

1,000 signatures reached

2020-06-07 06:05:44 -0400

500 signatures reached

2020-06-05 22:43:20 -0400

100 signatures reached

2020-06-05 17:59:57 -0400

50 signatures reached

2020-06-05 16:54:35 -0400

25 signatures reached

2020-06-05 14:37:58 -0400

10 signatures reached