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QO Letter to TPS re Death of Coco

November 9th, 2020

James Ramer, Interim Chief of Police
Toronto Police Service
40 College Street
Toronto, Ontario M5G 2J3
November 9, 2020

Dear Mr. Ramer,

We write with shock and anger over the death of Coco, a 30-year-old Black trans woman who died in police custody on October 26, 2020. The lack of transparency around her death, along with her persistent misgendering by the Toronto Police Service (TPS) and the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is appalling and disgraceful; we at Queer Ontario condemn these actions in the strongest possible terms.

With inexcusable regularity, members of the LGBTQ2S community – particularly those who are Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC) – face disproportionate violence and discrimination at the hands of police. As the Ontario Human Rights Commission reported in August, TPS data collected from 2013 to 2017 more than confirms this long-standing claim.

Queer Ontario stands firmly against the silence and secrecy surrounding Coco’s death. We demand that TPS act in accordance with its core values of integrity and accountability and provide the public with more information. Indeed, justice requires that we end the sanctioning of violence perpetrated against racialized folx and those presumed by state agents to be struggling with mental illness.

Continued silence in the face of this tragedy serves only to advance greater harm, fostering police mistrust amongst our communities. As an organization, we express solidarity in joining the collective call for Justice for Coco, asking #TPSWHATHAPPENED? Black trans lives matter, and Coco’s community deserves answers!


Leonard Halladay
Member, Queer Ontario

CC: John Tory, Mayor of Toronto
Joseph Martino, Director (SIU)

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