A black American man has applied for refugee status in Canada claiming he risks being killed by police in his home country because of his race.
Kyle Lydell Canty, 30, filed a claim for asylum and told a hearing of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board that black people in America were “being exterminated at an alarming rate”.
To back up his claim Mr Canty used the examples of the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the death of Eric Garner, who was put in a choke hold by police in New York.
Mr Canty told the hearing in Vancouver: “I’m in fear of my life because I’m black. This is a well-rounded fear.”
According to the IRB he submitted a “significant amount of evidence” to back up his claim, including video footage of his own interactions with police in six US states where he had lived.
That included one incident in which Mr Canty was arrested for trespassing in Salem, Oregon after he spent two hours talking on the phone and using free Wi-Fi at a bus station.
He said: “I got bothered because I’m black. My name is ruined because of the false arrest.”
Mr Canty, who represented himself at the asylum hearing, was commended the board for having put together a “well prepared case and argued it as well as it could be”. A decision has yet to be made.
He later told Canadian television: “I came to Canada to claim asylum because the United States is corrupt. It is consistently killing black people. The United Nations has condemned America for their racial disparities, for their police brutality.
He said: “I kept on getting harassed by cops for no reason, false charges, false arrests, all black people in America are going through the same thing.”
A spokesman for the Canadian IRB said that to obtain refugee status an American applicant would have to show they had a “well-founded fear of persecution in their country based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group”.
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