Wynne, Tory react to controversial tweets by Black Lives Matter protester
Rachael D'Amore, CTV Toronto
Published Wednesday, April 6, 2016 1:26PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, April 6, 2016 2:48PM EDT
The co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement is yet again the subject of controversy after a new tweet surfaced on Wednesday that reads, ‘come at me.”
Back in February, Yusra Khogali tweeted “Plz Allah give me strength to not cuss/kill these men and white folks out here today. Plz plz plz.”
The media became aware of the tweet on Tuesday, a day after Premier Wynne agreed to meet with members of the movement to discuss the black community’s concerns regarding the Special Investigations Unit and transparency in policing.
Khogali has yet to comment on the tweet but in a new tweet posted Wednesday, Khogali said “I am powerful. I am strong. I am resilient. I am untouchable. I will never stop resisting. Come at me.”
Premier Wynne commented on Khogali’s tweet Wednesday morning.
“I cannot speak for the actions of one individual and my hope would be what that young women tweeted has nothing to do with the position of the group as a whole,” Wynne said.
Sandy Hudson, a representative with Black Lives Matter Toronto, told CP24 Tuesday night that she would not comment on Khogali’s tweet.
“It would be besmirching the memory of Andrew Loku, of Jermaine Carby, and the people who have died in our community.”
Hudson said the tweet was “tabloid” and “not public interest news.”
Black Lives Matter protests have asked the province to reform the Special Investigations Unit and to publicly name all officers who fatally shoot people while on duty.
Andrew Loku, a 45-year-old South Sudanese migrant, was shot and killed by police in his apartment building after he approached an officer with a hammer, according to the SIU.
Loku’s death has been at the heart of the movement’s recent mobilization.
The Premier also responded to accusations made by the Toronto Police Union president pertaining to comments she made to Khogali about police and systemic racism.
Toronto Police Association President Mike McCormack told CTV Toronto Tuesday that he took issue with Wynne agreeing with Black Lives Matter protesters that there is “systemic, anti-black racism” in policing.
But Wynne said McComack misunderstood her.
“In his reaction to my comments, he misinterpreted what I said,” said Wynne. “I hope that he would, like I do, recognize that there are challenges across society.”
The premier said that despite the backlash over the tweets, the Liberal government will continue organizing both a private and public meeting with Black Lives Matter members.
Meanwhile, Mayor John Tory also spoke out about the tweet, telling CP24 Wednesday afternoon that he found Khogali's tweets "incendiary."
"I do think that the people should make very clear, on behalf of that organization, that tweets like this have no place in the discourse of a city like Toronto or a country like Canada," Mayor Tory told CP24. "We do not make these kinds of implied threats of violence and things like that. It's not a part of how we do business and never should be."
Tory also said that the comments made in the tweet don't change his view on Black Lives Matter, but rather, 'reinforces his approach to them.'
"There are some very serious issues to be discussed. There are far too many black men and some women, but mostly black men, underachieving in school, dropping out of school and having trouble finding employment," said Tory. "But it has to be done in a rational way."
"I think they [tweets like Khogali's] imply violence which is really no way to address any of these kinds of issues."
He said he has told the group he would meet with them privately but the protesters have insisted on public discussions.