4 Nov 2015

Saying U.S. is ‘corrupt,’ black American man applies for refugee status in Canada

A few weeks ago, Oregon man Kyle Canty was arrested after he refused to leave a bus station. Another time, police officers approached him because they thought he had flagged down their cruiser — but left as soon as the misunderstanding was cleared up.
Armed this evidence, Canty is applying for Canadian refugee status on the grounds police will kill him if he returns to the United States.
“The United States of America is corrupt; they’re consistently killing black people,” Canty told CBC outside his Immigration & Refugee Board (IRB) hearing.
The man entered Canada as a tourist in September, but soon applied for refugee protection in Vancouver. He is reportedly now living in a homeless shelter as he awaits a decision from the IRB.
He could not be reached by the National Post.
U.S. media got hold of Canty’s story this week, reporting on the black man who slipped across the 49th parallel to escape “police brutality.”
“He’s gone to Canada to get away from America’s cops,” wrote the tabloid-style New York Daily News.
While there have been several high-profile police shootings of unarmed black men across the U.S., Canty’s home state has largely been exempt.
According to statistics compiled by the Washington Post, Oregon law enforcement officials have killed 14 suspects this year, but only one was black.
In that case, Kevin Lamont Judson, 24, was fatally shot while trying to flee a traffic stop by stealing a police cruiser.
Salem, where Canty was arrested, has seen three police shootings since 2014. The suspects were all white.
Canaty, who is originally from New York, has racked up several minor charges in Oregon since 2001, including two convictions for marijuana possession and a dismissed charge for impaired driving.
His most recent arrest appears to be from mid-September, when he refused to leave a Salem bus station where he had been using its free Wi-Fi.
A YouTube video that appears to have been uploaded by Canty shows him yelling at security guards who asked him to catch the next bus or leave the premises.
“Go call the cops so I can get a police report … because I’m going to take that police report and I’m seriously going to sue you,” the camera operator tells the two guards.
He added, “This is what I do; I sue people in federal court.”
Another video appears to show Canty screaming for 10 minutes at a Seattle bicycle cop writing an unspecified ticket for a black pedestrian.
“Call for backup, idiot! Call for backup, idiot! We’re going to keep on recording, dummy, you’re f—— dumb!” the man behind the camera can be heard saying.
Canty’s Oct. 23 hearing saw him present reams of video and documentary evidence to the IRB to back his claim he has been repeatedly targeted by law enforcement because he is black, and his life is now in danger.
Notably, the hearing took place in the same building where, four years before, actor Randy Quaid requested Canadian asylum on the grounds he would be murdered by a cabal of “Hollywood star whackers” if he returned to the United States.
“My impression is that he had spent a lot of time training himself in legal things … he worked an incredible amount of time preparing his case,” said Melissa Anderson, an IRB spokeswoman.
She jokingly described her new job as being the “administrative assistant” for Canty, who has asked the IRB to forward him media requests.
On average, a few hundred U.S. citizens apply for refugee status in Canada each year, although most are rejected.


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