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Bomb Squad False Alarm After Black Lives Matter Protest Outside Ontario Premier's Home

The group said all they left outside Kathleen Wynne's house was some "cheese and corn."
April 1, 2016, 8:09pm

Black Lives Matter has been protesting outside of Toronto Police Headquarters for almost two weeks now. Photo by author.

The Toronto Police's explosive unit was called to the house of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne Friday following a Black Lives Matter vigil on the property, though police say the call turned out to be a false alarm.

The vigil, held Thursday, saw a small camp of Black Lives Matter Toronto (BLMTO) protesters lay out a memorial for Andrew Loku, who was killed by Toronto Police officers last year. The province's special investigative unit (SIU) recently found the officers, who have not been named, free of wrongdoing—an announcement that caused outraged and sparked an ongoing occupation of Toronto Police headquarters by BLMTO.

As seen thru — Kevin Misener (@Misener680NEWS)April 1, 2016

After the protesters left Friday morning, the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) explosive arm of the police arrived at the scene to inspect materials that were left behind. VICE contacted Alexandria Symone, co-founder of BLMTO, who chuckled at the idea. "They're going to be pissed when they find out all we left there was cheese and corn," she told VICE, making note that it was a peaceful protest and that the police had overreacted to their presence. Mark Pugash, Toronto Police's director of corporate communications, deflected claims that the police had been overzealous in their handling of the situation. "We will always err on the side of caution if we have a reason to be concerned." Later that day, shortly before a motion asking the province to reassess the SIU under the lens of anti-Black racism was passed unanimously by City Hall, Toronto Mayor John Tory called BLMTO's decision to protest in front of Wynne's house "entirely inappropriate." After the motion passed, BLMTO protesters disrupted council chambers to demand justice in the shooting of Loku and others.

Right now at city hall, — Rena Heer (@renaheer_CP24)April 1, 2016

"Give us the names! Justice for Andrew Loku!" VICE reached out to the premier's office, but they declined to comment on the situation. Follow Jake Kivanç on Twitter.