Being the biggest city in Ontario, Toronto is known for the diversity of citizens it has. From Greektown to Little Malta and Koreatown, the unique nature of the city is very dependent on the multiculturalism of the city's residents.
Now Canadian actor Andrew Phung, known for playing Kimchee on the CBC comedy "Kim's Convenience", is calling out the Toronto Police after he heard an officer shouting racialized comments at a driver on Saturday.
I literally just witnessed a @TorontoPolice officer shout “go back to your country” because they were confused at the crosswalk. To which two white dudes then shouted “amen, go back to where you fucking came from.” THIS IS NOT MY CANADA!— Andrew Phung (@andrewphung) July 7, 2018
The actor was headed to a Toronto Blue Jay's game on Saturday and was walking back to the stadium after parking his car. While waiting for the pedestrian signal, Phung says that a person of colour hesitated while at an intersection due to a double set of traffic lights.
He says that an on-duty police officer shouted at the driver to go through and after walking back to the crosswalk said: "if you can't drive, go back to your country."
I ran back to snap a pic of the officer. I have it but won’t share. I’ll provide it to @TorontoPolice if they’d like to follow up. It was a this intersection. Today is a beautiful day for a Jays game and instead this family gets told to go home. THIS IS NOT MY CANADA! pic.twitter.com/DxLkoQcinY— Andrew Phung (@andrewphung) July 7, 2018
I then walked alongside the racist dudes and talked about all the things I love about immigrants and what they bring to Canada.— Andrew Phung (@andrewphung) July 7, 2018
Phung says that he responded by yelling "that's not cool" but two white men on the sidewalk beside him then went on to say that it was "totally cool and if you can't drive go back to your f*cking country."
As a comedian, Phung asked why they thought driving was part of having a citizenship.
To clarify, the officer made the comment towards a family of driving through the intersection. The driver was confused, but drove through without incident. Cars behind made their turn as well. This intersection is very confusing as seen in the pics.— Andrew Phung (@andrewphung) July 8, 2018
What was the biggest issue that the actor saw with the situation? That it was a police officer who instigated the racist comments.
"They're the moral backbone of our community, they uphold the law. So when you see a police officer doing that, it empowered two other people to join in on that racism," Phung said. He also pointed out how easy it is to get confused in the city's traffic.
The Toronto Police issued a statement saying that they had gathered information about the incident and are going to be looking into it.
This behaviour is unacceptable to anyone but especially the police should be leading by example for the community they serve.