Canadian actor, comedian speaks with police about alleged racist incident
Andrew Phung poses on the red carpet at the 2017 Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto on March 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power
Katherine DeClerq, CTV News Toronto
Published Monday, July 9, 2018 4:58PM EDT
A Canadian actor and comedian has spoken with police, following his claim that he heard an officer direct a racist insult at a driver in downtown Toronto on Saturday.
In a tweet sent on Monday, Andrew Phung said that police requested details about the incident and said that an investigation is ongoing.
“I’m really impressed at how they reached out and are handling this,” he said on social media. “Lots of care, attention, and sincerity in our convo.”
Phung, who stars in the CBC sitcom ‘Kim’s Convenience’, said the incident occurred at the intersection of Rees Street and Lake Shore Boulevard.
He said he was walking through the intersection on Saturday afternoon on his way to a Blue jays game at the Rogers Centre. He noted that traffic was really heavy.
Phung said that as the light turned green, a driver hesitated to move forward.
“The intersection as a whole is confusing,” Phung said in a letter sent to police about the incident. “The police officer came out and yelled at them to go. The driver was flustered, looked around, and then completed his turn.”
According to Phung, the driver and the occupants were people of colour.
Phung said that the officer returned to the sidewalk where about 20 people were waiting to cross the street and said “if you can’t drive, go back to your country.” After Phung spoke up and said the statement was “not cool,” two pedestrians beside him voiced their support for the officer.
“As a Canadian Citizen, as a member of our community, I’m shocked and saddened by the actions of this police officer,” Phung said in his letter. “His words were ignorant, and they also empowered two others to join in on the hate. This was a family trying to navigate Toronto traffic on a warm day during a Jays’ game. A simple mistake that didn’t hurt anyone.”
On Saturday, Toronto police spokesperson Mark Pugash said that police were gathering as much information as possible in order to investigate what happened.