Judge Rules Toronto Police Racially Profiled Rapper LocoCity, Tosses Gun Charges

Image via Instagram
Image via Instagram

Ontario Court Justice Lori-Anne Thomas has found that Toronto police racially profiled rapper LocoCity and his friend when they arrested them under the pretext that they had been loitering inside a downtown apartment building.

“By no definition could this be considered loitering or hovering,” Thomas explained, according to The Star. In her description of the situation, Thomas noted that the two men had exited an elevator in the building approximately 20 seconds before the two officers approached them. The video also showed that the officers only had “a few seconds” to assess the two men before opting to question them.

Consts. Andrew Mason and Jason Boag testified that they had reason to question LocoCity, real name Noah Tesfai, and his friend because they were “just standing there.”

“I find that race, along with age and gender, played a role in the officers’ notion that Mr. Tesfai and his friend were potential offenders, whether trespassing or criminally,” Thomas wrote. “I further find that race was part of the motivation to investigate and detain the men. As such, Mr. Tesfai and his friend were racially profiled when the officers approached them for a groundless TPA violation.”

Const. Boag then accused Tesfai of giving him a false name, assaulting him, and fleeing, leading to a chase where they found a Glock handgun that had been discarded.

Thomas threw out the evidence after defence lawyer Kim Schofield argued that the officers had “made numerous Charter breaches in the arrest.” She added that Boag’s testimony was groundless, explaining that both the surveillance video and Const. Mason’s testimony contradicted his claims.

“There was no assault or attempted assault,” she wrote.

Following this acquittal, LocoCity pleaded guilty to a separate charge of possessing a loaded prohibited handgun, and two prohibited devices, as well as the possession of a firearm contrary to an order. In September, he released the single “FreeLoco (Freedom)” with the IG caption: “I been locked in these cells for about a year now… They tried to take me out the game but i’ll be home soon.”

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LocoCity was sentenced to two years minus a day. After credit for pre-sentence custody, LocoCity must only serve two months and 19 days, and then two years’ probation.