BLACK VOICES

Canada Denies Refugee Status To Black American Fleeing Police Violence

The refugee board claimed his fear of persecution wasn't "well-founded."
U.S. citizen Kyle Canty applied for refugee status in Canada in October on the grounds of police racism and violence.
U.S. citizen Kyle Canty applied for refugee status in Canada in October on the grounds of police racism and violence.

Canada has rejected the application of an African-American who applied for refugee status on the grounds he was facing police racism and brutality in the United States.

Kyle Lydell Canty’s application was denied by Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board in December and he is now back in the U.S., Vice News reported Saturday. Canty originally crossed the border into British Columbia in September as a tourist, then opted to stay and apply for refugee status.

Ron Yamauchi, an IRB board member who wrote the decision, acknowledged that black people in the U.S. are “stopped and questioned by police at the highest rate compared to other racial groups,” the CBC reported. But the decision argued that Canty personally did not have a “well-founded” fear of persecution in his home country.

"His removal to the United States of America would not subject him personally to a risk to his life or to a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment,” the decision read.

At his October hearing, Canty argued that black people in the U.S. are “being exterminated at an alarming rate” and said he feared for his life. He cited high-profile cases like the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner as evidence.

Canty faces criminal charges in multiple states for misdemeanors including jaywalking, threats and intimidation, trespassing and disorderly conduct, according to reports. But Canty told Vice in October that these charges are false -- the result of police targeting him because of his race.

He told Vice in an email this week that he won’t be appealing the decision because he has become disillusioned with the Canadian government. But, he noted, "I still hate America."

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