A peaceful rally for Toronto's Black-owned businesses was thrust into chaos over the weekend. The hostile incident, which injured seven police officers, is now being looked into by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU). Police say the individuals responsible for the violent outbreak were not part of the demonstrations.


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The protest, which was organized under the banner Bana on the Block, began as a march at around 3:00 p.m. on Saturday.

The purpose of the demonstration was to support the Eglinton Avenue West neighbourhood which, according to CBC, has suffered an economic decline due to Light Rail construction by Metrolinx.

The SIU states that it wasn’t until the end of the march, at around 8:00 p.m., that things took a turn for the worse.

According to the report, officers were confronted by a man jumping on cars.

An "interaction ensued" between the individual and police, during which a taser was used.

Seven officers were injured during the altercation.

The 33-year-old suspect was arrested and transported to the hospital for treatment. The extent of the man’s injuries has not been disclosed.

A video of two men being pinned down by police appeared on social media on Sunday. In the footage, one of the individuals can be heard screaming “no” as three policemen restrain him.

“Individuals were there having a peaceful protest and officers were there to assist the public and also to ensure the safety of the protesters,” Constable Edward Parks told CP24.

“Officers went out to engage that individual at which time that individual became aggressive, assaulting that officer,” he added.

So far, only two arrests have been made in connection with the incident.

Police have stressed in their report that while the incident occurred at the same time and place, the individuals involved in the altercation were not part of Saturday's peaceful protest.

The injured officers were taken to hospital and have since been treated and released.

*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.

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