KyleCanty-YouTube

Kyle Lydell Canty (Screengrab from CBC News video/YouTube)

The application of an African-American man who sought asylum in Canada, citing his fear of being killed by police back in the United States, has been denied, according to several news reports.

Kyle Lydell Canty, 30, crossed the border into British Columbia early last September, saying he was just visiting. Two days later, however, he decided to stay and applied for refugee status, according to Canadian news site, CBC News.

Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) heard Canty’s case at a hearing in October. Canty represented himself and argued Black people are “being exterminated at an alarming rate” in the U.S. He provided videos and news reports demonstrating police harassment of African Americans, citing the well-publicized cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in New York, both of whom died after altercations with police officers. Canty also provided a handbook from the UN refugee agency UNHCR on determining refugee status, according to Vice News.

“I then presented evidence specifically dealing with me, such as documents dealing with false arrests, no probable cause, evidence of extortion on behalf of the police departments and courts,” he told VICE News in October.

Canty, though originally from New York, said he has lived in six different states and moved around partly due to his adverse interactions with police.

According to the IRB’s website, a non-Canadian can be granted asylum if they fit the United Nations’ definition as a person who has a “well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership of a particular social group.” The applicant is also be deemed a “person in need of protection” if removing that person to his or her home country would subject the individual to a danger of torture, risk to their life, or risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.

Canty’s application did not meet those criteria, the IRB decided.

“I find that the claimant is not a Convention refugee in that he does not have a well-founded fear of persecution for a Convention ground in the United States of America,” wrote the refugee board’s Ron Yamauchi in his decision, as quoted by CBC News. “His removal to the United States of America would not subject him personally to a risk to his life or to a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.”

While Yamauchi acknowledged data showing that Black Americans are stopped by police at disproportionately higher rates than other groups, he said the issue at hand was one of persecution, “which is treatment that is worse than harassment.” 

And, Canty had not personally had experiences with police that “resulted in assault, excessive detention or lack of due process,” he continued.

The 30-year-old has since been deported back to the U.S., where he faces several outstanding charges in multiple states for things including jaywalking, issuing threats, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He denies guilt of the charges.

In an e-mail to Vice News Canty said the decision was “political” and had nothing to do with refugee law.

“I was planning on appealing the case until I found out what was really going on with the Canadian government (Syria) everything is not what it seems lol,” he wrote, adding that he will try the process again in three years. “This time I will pick America’s Enemies, I still hate America just like I wrote and said.”

According to CBC News, Canada grants refugee status to relatively few U.S. citizens each year. In 2013 there were only three.