A black American citizen from New York State, who has several outstanding warrants, fled to the True North and has applied for refugee status, saying he fears cops at home are targeting him for his race.
“They’re consistently killing black people, it’s documented, the United Nations has condemned America for their racial disparities for their police brutality,” Kyle Lydell Canty, 30, told CBC late last month.
“And honestly, I kept on getting harassed by cops for no reason, false charges, false arrests — I’m not just the only one going through it. All black people in America are going through the same thing. It’s corruption.”
Invoking the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, he said blacks are “being exterminated at an alarming rate” in his native land.
During an Oct. 23 hearing with the country’s Immigration and Refugee Board, Canty professed: “I’m in fear of my life because I’m black. This is a well-founded fear.”
Canty is right on two accounts. Blacks are almost twice as likely to be killed by police than whites, Hispanics or Latinos, according to data from The Guardian’s police deaths project, The Counted. And the United Nations has indeed censured the United States about this very fact, with the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination condemning police brutality last August during the riots in Ferguson, Mo. over Michael Brown’s death.
But the would-be refugee has a personal stake in his self-imposed exile. Canty said he has lived in six states, faced police harassment in each one and racked up a criminal record. Full details of his criminal past are not clear, but Canty said in his hearing he has outstanding warrants in several states for offenses including disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Records obtained by the Daily News show he faced misdemeanor counts of intimidation, jaywalking and failure to appear in court in Tuscon, Ariz. last summer. He once lived in Little Rock, Ark., and his last listed address is in Rochester, N.Y. Phone numbers listed for him are disconnected.
During the hearing, he also showed a clip of an encounter with cops in Salem, Ore. There, he was arrested for trespass after using the free wifi in a bus station for two hours, he said.
“I got bothered because I’m black,” he said, according to the CBC.
“This is a history of false arrest. My name is ruined because of the false arrest.”
Canty said he crossed the border into Vancouver about two months ago, planning only a short trip, before deciding to live there in a homeless shelter while awaiting asylum.
IRB spokeswoman Melissa Anderson told the Daily Beast the board will decide Canty’s fate in the next few weeks, but she is “not aware” of any refugee case similar to this one.
It is rare for Canada to accept Americans, with only a few being granted asylum every year. One of the most famous (or infamous) cases is actor-turned-nutso Randy Quaid, who applied for refugee status in 2010 after claiming “Hollywood star whacker” assassins were trying to kill him. He later withdrew the claim, and was arrested with his wife last month for crossing the border back into America.