At Thursday’s meeting of the Toronto Police Services Board, CCLA’s Equality Program Director Noa Mendelsohn Aviv addressed the Board over the documented practice of racial profiling by the police. CCLA’s submissions expressed concern not just with “carding” – the recording of names and identities of black male youth – but also with unwarranted stops by police of these individuals. Stating that such stops are unacceptable and unconstitutional, CCLA called on the police to deal with this matter urgently and proactively. CCLA supported the recommendation of the Police Services Board Chair to commence an independent investigation into this practice, while also insisting that the police remain responsible to deal with this matter without delay, and must prohibit unwarranted stops and questioning, demanding and recording of identities, intimidation and searches.
CCLA was encouraged by further motions put forward by Board Vice Chair Michael Thompson, which included a requirement that the police Chief report regularly to the Board on this matter, including with respect to steps taken to address issues that arise, and a requirement that individuals who are stopped must receive a copy of information recorded about them, which should include reasons for the stop.
Though cautiously encouraged by the Board’s proposed motions to address this practice, CCLA will wait to see how motions passed will be implemented. CCLA also remains concerned that the practice of unwarranted stops has not yet been prohibited. We will continue to monitor and advocate around these and related issues.
For CCLA’s Statement and Recommendations to the Board, click here.
Minutes of the Toronto Police Services Board meeting (setting out the motions passed) are not yet available, but will be posted here once they become available.