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Youths rally against police brutality and anti-Black racism at Gottingen Street police headquarters

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KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Some 30 protesters rallied at the Gottingen Street police station this afternoon, demanding an end to police brutality and anti-Black racism. Most of the protesters were in their mid or late teens

The immediate reason for the rally was the violent arrest and tasing of a Black man on Quinpool Road by Halifax police. A video of the arrest, made by a bystander, has circulated on social media and has been widely viewed.

But it seemed that each youth at the rally had their own personal reasons for attending as well.

“My uncles was the man tasered last week. But what happened to my uncle has happened to others as well,” one of the organizers told the crowd. “ We’re here to put a stop to this now.” 

Also at the rally was boxer Kirk Johnson, the man who took the Halifax police to court and won, after being stopped repeatedly for no reason other than the colour of his skin.

These incidents would eventually lead to a 2003 Nova Scotia Human Rights Tribunal that found police behaviour discriminatory, and, among other things, ordered police to start collecting race-related statistics.

See also: Why was I a suspicious person? Four videos on police street checks in Halifax

“I am here because I heard about the incident last week. They were tasing my cousin. I have seen the video, and I saw nothing that tells me that he should have been (tased), and we want some answers,” Johnson told the Nova Scotia Advocate.

“We don’t want to get to a situation where they just start doing that to our people. I train in Texas, and I see this police violence all the time, with the police killing people. We don’t want that stuff happening here, so we want to let the police know that we are concerned about our people, and that we are concerned about all people,” Johnson said.

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