One U.S. citizen is trying to claim refugee status in Canada, citing instances of police brutality against black people in his examples argued before Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board in Vancouver, CBC News reports.
According to the report, Kyle Lydell Canty crossed over the American-Canadian border in September, telling border agents that he was there to visit and take photographs. Once he arrived in Vancouver, however, Canty, 30, decided that he would attempt to remain as a refugee.
"I'm in fear of my life because I'm black," he told Immigration and Refugee Board member Ron Yamauchi in a hearing last week. "This is a well-founded fear."
Canty reportedly pointed to Missouri's Michael Brown and New York's Eric Garner, both of whom died at the hands of police officers, as examples, saying that black people are "being exterminated at an alarming rate" in the United States.
Canty represented himself at the hearing, which he wanted to be made public, and was commended by a board member, who said that Canty has put together a "well-prepared case … and argued it as well as it could be," CBC notes.
Canty submitted other evidence, including videos, media reports and the the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' handbook determining refugee status. In Canada, a refugee must reportedly prove "that you're someone with a well-founded fear of persecution in your home country, based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group," IRB spokeswoman Melissa Anderson said.
As part of his evidence, Canty recounted his interactions with police, including an incident in which he was arrested for trespassing in Oregon after spending two hours talking on the phone and using the free Wi-Fi at a bus station.
"I got bothered because I'm black," he said. "This is a history of false arrest. My name is ruined because of the false arrest."
Canty reportedly acknowledged that he has outstanding charges in multiple states for incidents including jaywalking, issuing threats and disorderly conduct, but he said that he does not want to go home to face those charges.
"I'm in fear of my life," he said. "I already know the outcome."
The U.S. citizen is currently living in a homeless shelter in Vancouver.
Read more at CBC News.