Black Man Fleeing Police Seeks Refugee Status

But Canada turns down Kyle Lydell Canty
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2016 4:04 PM CST
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(Newser) – An African American who applied to Canada for refugee status based on his fear of police brutality got some bad news last month: He's been rejected, the Huffington Post reports. Kyle Lydell Canty made his case in October at an Immigration and Refugee Board hearing, where he said black Americans are "being exterminated at an alarming rate" and said his own life may be at risk. He also mentioned well-known cases (like the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown) and showed video of him apparently interacting with off-screen US police officers—but officials on the board weren't persuaded, Vice reports.

"On these clips the claimant is interacting with police officers, addressing them with comments such as 'You guys are just ridiculous' and 'You're dumb,'" writes board member Ron Yamauchi in his decision. "His demeanor, in these videos, is not redolent of intimidation." While Yamauchi agreed that blacks are stopped "at the highest rate" by US police, he says Canty doesn't appear to be personally at risk. Canty (who is from New York but has lived in several states, Vice reported in October) faces charges including disorderly conduct, intimidation, trespassing, jaywalking, and threats, but denies the charges and says he was racially targeted. He's disillusioned about Canada, he says, but adds, "I still hate America."

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