On the morning of Thursday June 25th, east end residents Mark Austin and Candace Zinkweg were victims of a brutal assault as they walked their dog in Dentonia Park. Candace had her cell phone stolen and was knocked to the ground and then kicked in the head by two white assailants. Her partner Mark was also violently assaulted by a third assailant and repeatedly subjected to racist abuse by one of the aforementioned assailants. Candace lost consciousness and suffered a serious concussion. She was transported by ambulance to the hospital when EMS finally arrived.
The police were slow to arrive on the scene, did not seek out a statement from the victim, and when questioned about why they had not laid charges on the assailants, they said “it’s he said, she said”. This, despite Candace having been taken away on a stretcher after the assault! During the attack, the assailant repeatedly made death threats against Mark, saying he would shoot him the next time he saw him. The assailants live in the same building as Mark and Candace, and they have continued their threats with impunity because the police have taken no action. This is a pattern of racist policing which dismisses the obvious evidence and allows racist violence to continue.
Around the world, people are rising up against systemic racism and a growing climate of racist brutality. In Toronto, there have been ongoing calls for an end to racist policing – yet nothing has changed. Enough is enough. We won’t tolerate members of our community who are victims of racist violence being silenced by racist policing.
Join this protest on Monday July 6 at 12 noon at 55 division police headquarters, 101 Coxwell Avenue, to demand that police immediately lay charges on the assailants, and publicly apologize for their shocking inaction in the face of a clear case of violent assault, racist abuse and ongoing threats to this couple.
**Please remember to wear a mask if possible, and to physically distance at the event. Bring water, hand sanitizer and sun protection. Water and sunscreen will also be available on site.
Event co-sponsored by:
Steelworkers Toronto Area Council
Coalition of Black Trade Unionists - Canada
Toronto East Anti-hate Mobilization
Black Action Defense Committee
United Steelworkers Local 1998 (University of Toronto)
Caribbean Solidarity Network