On Monday we heard from young Black housing advocates about the physical pain and trauma they experienced due to the actions of Hamilton Police Services on November 24th at J.C. Beemer Park, and 26th at the Hamilton Police Station.
Media images that drew attention all over the world of the incident clearly show a police officer placing a knee on the neck of a Black woman. The video shows police violently tackling youth outside the station. These deeply troubling images graphically detail Hamilton Police’s response and call attention to systemic issues of racism in policing.
We are calling on the Hamilton Police Service Board and the Attorney General to open a judicial inquiry into the actions of all Police officers present at JC Beemer Park on November 24th and at the Hamilton Police Central station on November 26th.
We are calling on City Council to stop encampment evictions adversely affecting Black, Indigenous, and low-income residents.
We ask that all institutions representing the City of Hamilton move quickly to create safe housing solutions.
Moving forward, we need to support groups advocating for justice and safety in our communities. As a city, the voices of our youth should be valued not brutally discouraged.
As an anti-racism organization, we know the work involved in making this happen. We are willing and ready, but not at the cost of the dignity and safety of those homeless and our youth.
View the full press conference with community leaders below. A summary and partial transcript of the event can be found here, via CBC's Desmond Brown.