Statement on Appointment of Police Chief-Designate Myron Demkiw

Mayoral Candidate Urges a Pause on the Installation of the New Police Chief.

Toronto – The Chief-Designate appointment of Myron Demkiw, formerly of the Toronto Police's disbanded vice squad, is an affront to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. His direct involvement in the women's bathhouse raid in 2000, other raids on Queer spaces, and his subsequent attack on a City Councillor who spoke against these atrocious acts, makes him a controversial choice to serve Toronto’s diverse communities as their Chief of Police.

What message does Mr. Demkiw’s nomination send to Queer communities who have recently been abandoned by their police force while a serial killer preyed on gay men for years without adequate response? Trans women in Toronto have been subjected to questionable police conduct for years and little has been done to improve community relations.

John Tory, who serves on the Police Services Board, has demonstrated a lack of judgement and indifference to Queer communities by not only approving this appointment, but reaffirming his choice of Mr. Demkiw in the face of opposition by the communities the new Chief will have to serve.

I strongly urge John Tory, and the Toronto Police Services Board, to pause the installation of Mr. Demskiw as the next police chief until the affected community receives a public meeting and answers to the questions they put forth in their letter. Anything less will be unforgivable. 

Torontonians deserve and expect their new police chief to be someone who has earned their trust, not someone mired in controversy with a history of abusing the Charter rights of a minority group.

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