Test case profile

Coroner's inquest jury finds implicit bias played a role in the death of Andrew Loku

On July 5, 2015, Andrew Loku, a South Sudanese refugee suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder connected to torture he suffered after being kidnapped in Sudan, was shot and killed by Toronto police officers responding to an emergency call about a man with a hammer threatening to kill someone.

An inquest into his death examined the circumstances in order to prevent future fatalities.

LAO provided funding to the Black Action Defence Committee and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health's Empowerment Council to participate in the inquest. The arguments by the two parties regarding the impact of race and mental health in policing and the justice system align with key issues that LAO's Mental Health Strategy and Racialized Communities Strategy look at.

Among the 39 recommendations made by the coroner's jury, at least 17 of them deal with recognizing and addressing implicit bias and anti-Black racism. Some of those recommendations include:

  • training police on implicit bias and anti-Black racism
  • collecting and making available race-based data
  • requiring police officers to complete the Implicit Association Test