Black Lives Matter Toronto co-founder under scrutiny for controversial tweet

Apr 7, 2016 | News

Samantha Singh

Black Lives Matter Toronto co-founder Yusra Khogali is the centre of attention after Newstalk1010 radio host Jerry Agar posted this on Twitter:

The tweet from Feb. 9 was brought to light after a 15-day protest by Black Lives Matter Toronto that was held outside of police headquarters.

“I thought that it showed a double standard,” Jerry Agar, host from Newstalk1010, told Humber News.

“You have a co-founder of a group that is looking for equality, looking for respect, and then suddenly we see what looks like an anti-male, sexist and racist tweet. That’s how I reacted to it and I wanted to see how other people did.”

During the protests, the group asked the province to reform the Special Investigations Unit and create transparency with all police officers who have fatally shot people while on duty.

The protest began after Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit ruled last month that a Toronto police officer would not face charges for fatally shooting Andrew Loku, who was wielding a hammer in an apartment building last July.

In the incident, the officer was backed into a corner and fearing a serious attack when he shot the 45-year-old man at a distance of two to three metres, which the ruling said was a justifiable use of force.

The rally concluded at Queen’s Park where Premier Kathleen Wynne agreed to meet privately and publicly with the coalition.

“It’s almost comical to see media practitioners and politicians responding so quickly and urgently to a singular tweet that was obviously said by a young woman out of anger, frustration, and hurt, in response to feeling bullied and her community feeling collectively brutalized by mostly Caucasian male law enforcement officials,” said Dalton Higgins, a journalist and Black Lives Matter advocate.
“Why aren’t Toronto politicians taking this idea of black people dying unjustly just as seriously? That’s my question.”
“It’s interesting how this diversion takes us away from talking about the things like whether or not we’re concerned with police brutality, whether or not we think that it’s alarming and it’s actually violence and needs to be stopped,” said Desmond Cole, journalist and activist.
The hashtag #IStandWithYusra was created to support Khogalia’s tweet.

Khogalia’s Twitter account is set to private and has yet to comment publicly about her tweet.