A few years back, Toronto's LGBTQ village was plagued by disappearances of at least 6 men who fell into similar labels of age and looks.
It was suspected that a serial killer targeting these men could be at large, but the work done by Toronto's Police force was lackluster and polarized the relationship between LGBTQ+ locals and the police force.
Toronto's Chief of Police Mark Saunders stuck his foot in his mouth speaking about this, proved how inept he really is and has pissed off our entire community.
"We knew that people were missing and we knew we didn't have the right answers. But nobody was coming to us with anything." Saunders to The Globe and Mail.
Mark Saunders showed the exact reason why our LGBTQ+ family has no faith in the police and justice system.
Instead of doing his job, Saunders blames the LGBTQ+ community for not coming forward with more information. The victim is being blamed here again, which is far too common in today's world.
Since Chief Saunders wants to point blame at the community, it's worth noting that Sasha Reid, who has studied serial killer patterns for almost a decade, caught on to this trend and informed the police last summer, and she was not the first person to do so.
“I did say, ‘I have these databases and I can create a profile and do what I can to help.’ He said, ‘Thank you very much,’ and if they need me they will call,” Reid recalled, adding that the detective was “very receptive.”
But in the end, “that was it,” she said. CTV.
This is a definite problem. How a community is expected to come forward when there is no connection to the community is beyond me.
City councilor Kristyn Wong-Tam has said that she was hearing from male sex workers that they are reluctant to report anything to the police.
The Toronto Police force needs to rebuild their relationship and trust with the LGBTQ+ community.
"They have to work hard to develop that level of trust," she said. "They have to be engaged with the community, ongoing, not just when something goes wrong, in order for the community to feel that they can trust the police and go to the police when they need help."
It's no wonder that the uniformed police were banned from Pride Toronto's 2017 parade.
In fact, a recent union poll shows that 86% of Toronto's police officers do not have faith in Mark Saunders. Source.
Montreal's own police force has come under fire for its treatment towards LGBTQ+ individuals as well, multiple times.
It's high-time the Police in Canada start to build their relationships with our communities and instill a trust in our justice system.
Everyone deserves to feel safe in their community. On that, let's all give a big FUCK YOU to Toronto Chief of Police, Mark Saunders.