Asian Canadian actor Andrew Phung took to Twitter to condemn an alleged racist comment made by a Toronto police officer towards a driver who he described as a person of color.
Phung, who plays Kimchee in the award-winning television sitcom “Kim’s Convenience,” said he had just dropped his family off at Rogers Centre for a Blue Jays game on Saturday when he witnessed the racist incident.
As he was walking to the stadium, Phung heard a police officer telling a driver to “go back to your country.”
After describing the incident in a series of tweets Saturday afternoon, he gave more details about the ordeal in a later interview with CBC.
According to the comedian, he was waiting at a crosswalk with other pedestrians when the light changed. However, a confused driver hesitated to proceed through the intersection. Seeing the driver hesitate, an on-duty cop shouted and told the person to go ahead.
After the driver obeyed the officer’s instruction, Phung heard the cop let out an insult as he was walking back towards the sidewalk, “If you can’t drive, go back to your country.”
Shocked at the cop’s comment, Phung shouted back, “That’s not cool.”
“Two men beside me then said, ‘Nope, totally cool. If you can’t drive, go back to you f—-ing country.’ The comedian in me then burst out and then I proceeded to ask them why they thought driving ability equated citizenship in this country.”
Phung noted that the driver might have hesitated since the intersection had two sets of lights that were close together, with one set showing red.
“I think as a whole we can all agree that we’ve all been confused before in Toronto traffic,” Phung pointed out.
“It was just so disappointing to see this coming from a police officer,” Phung explained. “They’re the moral backbone of our community, they uphold the law. So when you see a police officer doing that, it empowered two other people to join in on that racism.”
In a statement, Toronto police revealed that the incident is being investigated.