The collection and dissemination of race-based statistics is essential to the examination and elimination of any racial disparities that may exist. By remaining uncommitted to this initiative, Canadian law enforcement has essentially shrugged its shoulders to the troubles many visible minority Canadians face.
Canada's parliament adopted unanimously a motion to condemn all forms of Islamophobia in the country. The fact that the motion received no objection from any of the federal parties shows that the Liberal, NDP, Conservative and Bloc Quebecois members have a clear understanding that Islamophobia is a severe form of bigotry.
News last week about the two-year study of the traffic stop data collected by the Ottawa Police were quickly dismissed by the same researchers who conducted it, as "not necessarily indicative of causation, and it doesn't prove racial profiling." So what is the point of conducting such a study if those results cannot be used to speak about racial profiling, admit its existence and thus dealing with it?
Seeing an innocent member of your 'team' die tragically feeds this sense of 'us and them.' Micah Johnson, the Dallas shooter, did not see fathers, sons or brothers. He only saw white people and cops. This is the same mentality that fuels the atrocities of ISIS. When we see a group instead of an individual we feel justified in killing an innocent member of that group. Trained as a soldier, Johnson only saw 'the enemy.'
I told him that Indigenous people fear the police because of many instances of abuse and the feeling that it was an institution designed to oppress Indigenous people. He told me that wasn't true. I told him their actions say something different. And that was that. It was only a few weeks later, walking with my then girlfriend (and future and present wife) late at night on Adelaide outside her apartment that the cruiser pulled up beside us. They shone the spotlight on me and ordered me to face the wall.
Last federal budget, the government announced the plan to create a counter terrorism office. This new initiative named as the Office of the Community Outreach and Counter-radicalization Co-ordinator would cost Canadian taxpayers $35 millions dollars. With an initial funding of $3 million in 2016-2017 and a $10 million a year in the subsequent years.
Officers should be required explicitly to advise individuals of their right to walk away if they are not under arrest. The reason for the stop should be in the receipt provided. Officer training on systemic racism and racial profiling should be required. Data collection to create greater accountability should be standardized across police services.
Like most people that call this city home, I am deeply troubled by Sunday's shooting deaths in Toronto's Chinatown and the eight other gun-related deaths the city saw in January. This is obviously unacceptable, and police must be supported in their efforts to investigate and prosecute those responsible for these horrific crimes. That being said, most people would be hesitant to draw any clear conclusions about why we have seen a high number of gun crimes over the past month. Mike McCormack, president of the Toronto Police Association, the union that represents police officers, feels differently.
Women of colour who have spoken most openly and fervently on behalf of their male family and community members are often at the forefront of the debate surrounding police misconduct. Yet, women have also been victimized by the police and often in precisely the same ways as men -- police stops, shootings and racial profiling.