The 519, along with our communities, demand answers from Toronto Police Service (TPS) and the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) in regards to the death of a Black trans woman who died in hospital after being apprehended by police under the Mental Health Act.

On October 26, 2020, The 519 became aware of the death of a member of our community while in police custody. Though neither the TPS nor the SIU has released the name of the person who died or any information related to what caused their death, we have received information that confirms that the individual involved was a much loved 30-year-old Black trans woman. Out of respect for grieving family and friends, who may or may not know of the details surrounding her death, we are not publishing her name at this time. To all of you who are grieving, we extend deep and heartfelt condolences. We share your grief.

Among the many questions for public officials, why has the SIU published a news release that misgenders the woman who died after being informed of this error? We refuse to wait any longer for information and answers from the TPS and the SIU that account for this loss of life. As an organization, The 519 will continue our commitment to holding organizations, agencies, and institutions publicly accountable – investigations and reviews must be honest and transparent to members of the public. Time and time again, members within the LGBTQ2S community, particularly BIPOC queer, trans, and two-spirit communities, are let down by the organizations that are mandated to serve and protect.

Those closest to this tragic loss, family and friends, are owed answers. Those in our communities are owed answers. More information is needed – and it is needed now.

We demand that the Toronto Police Service and the Special Investigations Unit uphold their responsibility for transparency and accountability, and provide the public with more information about the circumstances that led to the death of the 30-year-old Black trans woman who was taken to hospital by police. What happened? Silence, in the face of such loss, only serves to cause greater harm.

Please join us in our collective call for accountability and transparency in asking #TPSWHATHAPPENED?

Contact 43 Division at the TPS and quote Case Number: 2020-2029228. Ask them #TPSWHATHAPPENED?

Contact the SIU and quote Case Number: 20-TCD-284. Ask them #TPSWHATHAPPENED?