Going viral isn't always a good thing. The man who wore racially-insensitive makeup during last weekend's peaceful protest in Toronto is now facing a criminal charge. Police shared an update on Tuesday, June 9, noting the Toronto blackface protester faces a court date.

This article contains graphic content (profanity and racism) that might not be suitable for some readers.

On June 6, police had arrested a man after he crashed a peaceful protest that was being held for black lives lost to police brutality and racism at the city's Nathan Phillips Square.

According to the news release, at around 1:30 p.m., TPS heard about a man causing a disturbance.

Photo and video footage from the scene showed a man with his face artificially darkened. Police on the scene talked to the man and arrested him for breach of the peace.

Although the fear of protests getting out of control had Toronto Mayor John Tory ask for peace over the weekend, it seemed as though this individual counter-protest was not expected.

The man had apparently walked through a crowd that had formed a circle and walked across to the other side, sticking his middle finger up.

He allegedly stood right next to people who held up signs while chanting in support of Black Lives Matter.

Despite people asking him to leave, he didn't budge, so TPS intervened and arrested him.

Now, police say 28-year-old Deivis Shtembari is facing a pending court date next month. After police conducted their investigation, they are now charging him with causing a disturbance.

He's now scheduled to appear at Old City Hall, on July 16, at 11 a.m.

Aside from this unsavoury incident, last weekend's marches were generally peaceful and saw more support from local leaders and politicians.

Among those was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who joined activists in taking a knee at an anti-racism protest in Ottawa.

Meanwhile, Toronto's soon-to-depart Police Chief Mark Saunders also took a knee in solidarity this past weekend.

While it may feel a different age given everything that has happened in 2020 so far, it was only back in September that Trudeau faced a firestorm after old photos of him in  blackface surfaced.

On Sunday, Mayor John Tory said of Toronto's weekend protests: "The last few days have been such a confirmation of sort of who we are and what we are as a city.

"We know that anti-Black racism, and racism on a number of fronts, is still a significant issue here, as far as we've come…The message has been heard loud and clear," the mayor said per CP24.

Comments are now closed.
Account Settings
Share Feedback
Log Out

Register this device to receive push notifications