This was a missed opportunity to address the lack of great strides with the black members of the LGBTQ community, and black Torontonians as a whole. Once police make some progress on the"much to do" promise, which means actually working to reduce systemic racism in a real and meaningful way, then they can "decide" to rejoin the Pride Parade.
People like to excuse police violence by claiming that it's just a few bad apples. Perhaps that's true, but then who is electing the police union leaders who make it their job to defend these bad apples? See, here's the thing about bad apples -- if you don't root them out, then the whole barrel will rot.If the police union was really protecting the police force, then they'd be the most outspoken critics of police brutality and unnecessary police-involved shootings. But they're not.
The Toronto Police Service must develop a strong policy around Taser use that goes far beyond the requirements outlined in the Ontario guidelines. The policy must also ensure meaningful accountability and strict disciplinary measures for when officers use Tasers carelessly and without sufficient justification.
This past fall I was carded by a Toronto police officer near my own neighbourhood. It wasn't my first time. After returning home that day I did some research on the topic of police surveillance and came across Body Worn Cameras (BWC). They would prove that Toronto police disproportionately target minorities and community outrage in the city is justified. The truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all measure that restores public trust in police. But in Toronto, where there is a clear crisis of distrust between minority communities and police, it becomes clear that police officers might have to wear these Body Worn Cameras to regain some of that trust.