Pizza shop owners in Canada are being urged to step up to the plate after a Facebook post about a man who was killed by police was used as a pretext for a racist tirade against a black man.
“We are the real deal.
We are the true deal,” the post by the owner of a downtown Toronto pizza shop said.
“You should be proud to be Canadian, we are not just an American company,” the Facebook post said.
The post was shared more than 8,000 times and was shared in the comments section by a white person.
“I hope you know you are not alone.
You are not the only ones who feel this way,” the owner wrote.
“But don’t let us take this the wrong way.
We will continue to stand with you, no matter what.”
Police have not released the identity of the deceased, but they have not said the man died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Police were called to a Pizza Hut on Queen Street West near Dufferin Street on Sunday evening after receiving a call that a man had been shot.
When officers arrived at the scene, they found a man lying in the street with a gunshot wound to the chest.
He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Police have charged a 21-year-old man with second-degree murder in connection with the incident.
Police are not releasing the identity or location of the suspect.
The Postmedia news agency is not naming the suspect in the shooting because the case remains under investigation.
“This was a racist and hateful act and I will not tolerate such hateful and violent behavior,” Ontario’s chief constable said in a statement Sunday night.
“It’s very disappointing and disappointing to see that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.”
The Ontario Police Association also urged pizza restaurant owners to make the changes needed to better serve minority customers.
“As a member of the Ontario Police Service and as a police officer, it is my duty to speak out against this type, hateful behavior and this type is what we are seeing at Pizza Hut across the country,” said police chief Bill Blair.
“If we are going to protect the public, it’s time we put our differences aside and do the right thing.”
The Pizza Hut in Toronto is among more than 100 Toronto restaurants and restaurants in the GTA that have posted a statement condemning the racist comments posted by the manager.
The restaurant has said it will be changing its policy to ensure it does not host events featuring any group of people.
“Our core values are tolerance, respect and diversity,” a statement posted on the Pizza Hut website said.