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  • Photos: Police Violence, Mobilization and Strategies of Resistance - 9th Annual “Decolonizing the Spirit” Conference: Indigenous Pedagogies

    Chair: Sandra Hudson, OISE/UT; Panelists: Dr. Ajamu Nangwaya, Kimalee Phillips and Ellie Adekur-Carlson, Network for the Elimination of Police Violence (NEPV), Mobilizing vs. Organizing: Strengthening our Capacities for Organizing

    Friday April 24, 2015 - Saturday April 25, 2015, Room 5-280
    Centre for Integrative Anti-Racism Studies Ontario Institute for Studies in Education - University Of Toronto


     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Police carding regulations amount to putting lipstick on a pig

    By theNetwork for the Elimination of Police Violence ;September 7, 2015

    The Network for the Elimination of Police Violence (NEPV) rejects the call from the Government of Ontario to retain carding byregulating the practice. Carding is a street harassment practice by cops across Canada that involves the stopping and questioning of civilians in non-criminal interactions and documenting their personal information.

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    Carding must be abolished now! We call on all organizations and individuals who are truly interested in community safety to boycott Premier Kathleen Wynne’spublic manipulation (consultation) process, and maintain no false illusions about the Ontario government's willingness to engage in genuine dialogue with the communities most affected by police violence.

    This manipulative exercise is an attempt to win moral legitimacy for the repressive, human rights denying practice of carding by providing a false veneer of racial sensitivity, public accountability and community direction to what is in fact a clear expansion and consolidation of the carding regime.

    This strategy can be plainly identified in the recent statements by Ontario's Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Yasir Naqvi, in which he simultaneously promotes the government's supposed “zero tolerance” approach to racial profiling and enduring commitment to human rights, while continuing to describe carding as “a necessary and valuable tool” in the arsenal of the police.

    Naqvi would have us believe that police officers in Ontario already hold a sincere commitment to human rights and a zero tolerance approach to racial profiling, as enshrined in the Ontario Police Services Act, despite the obvious evidence to the contrary.

    There is no justifiable reason for carding abolitionists or reformists to celebrate Minister Naqvi’s recent restatement of his June 16 assertion that the regulation of carding will respect theCharter of Rights and Freedom as a victory of sorts. The government is still committed to imposing this form of police violence (carding) on the people of Ontario before the end of 2015.

    Many carding opponents are being misled by the following comment fromMinister Naqvi, “We have heard from the community that street checks [carding] by definition are arbitrary as well as discriminatory and therefore cannot be regulated – they must simply be ended. The province agrees that these types of stops must end.”

    Carding has never been an arbitrary exercise. It is high time for us to stop framing this form of police violence as a random act. The cops are intentionally targeting specific groups. Why is it that African-Canadians in Toronto are carded atrates that are 5-10 times higher than their white counterparts in neighbourhoods that are predominantly white, have very low rates of crime and are relatively wealth?

    The cops claim that carding is needed for intelligence gathering in areas with high levels of documented criminal activities. The police in affluent neighbourhoods might not have received the memo to not engage in racial and class profiling on their beats.

    Carding is a deliberate scheme that promotes racial profiling and class profiling against oppressed groups in society. Carding is doing exactly what it was designed to do, which is the over-policing and constant surveillance of groups that are seen as potential threats to the preservation of this oppressive society.

    Carding does away with the established practice ofreasonable suspicion or reasonable and probable grounds as the basis for carrying out a warrantless detention. The racialized and working-class people who are stopped in the streets are beingpsychologically detained. They feel compelled to give the cops their personal information in these non-criminal encounters.

    NEPV has been very clear in its position --- carding must go! We see nothing of value in a tool that pre-criminalizes our communities, targeting, and harassing people who are not criminal suspects. Intruding into our communities and forcefully gathering random information on residents should be seen as what is really is: an occupation force spying on innocent civilians.

    We should not assist the police or the regime at Queen’s Park in designing the terms of the occupation of our communities and the regulation of our physical movement.

    We call on all concerned organizations and individuals to actively resist efforts at masking the abhorrent process of carding. Instead of sitting down to discuss how to reform these illegal, highly intrusive and completely discriminatory practices, NEPV supports calls to end the victimization of racialized and working-class communities that are suffering from the violence of carding across Turtle Island or Canada.

    Let us get together and organize neighbourhood-basedFree2Go campaigns to empower our neighbours tostop sharing their personal information with the cops. If we stop sharing our personal information in these non-criminal interactions with the police, carding will come to an end. Let’s organize and not agonize over discriminatory policing tactics.

    The following declaration of support for active resistance byFrederick Douglass is just as true yesterday as it is today:

    “This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”

  • Police carding says I don’t belong, I’m just tolerated

    By XINAVANE MAWU KUSH

    The issue is not whether carding can be made to look friendlier. The issue is not whether carding can be redone so it seems nicer.

    The issue is that carding – in and of itself – is wrong. Carding is similar to the New York Police Department's infamous "stop and frisk" program.

    http://static.theglobeandmail.ca/f28/globe-debate/letters/article24037187.ece/ALTERNATES/w620/DBC103-Saunders+Toronto+Pol.JPG

    Carding says that I am not entitled to the same rights and freedoms as White Canadians. Carding says I'm not as 'real' a citizen as a White person. Carding says I don't belong, I'm just tolerated.

    Carding is based on the White supremacist historical mantra that we Afrikan people are inherently criminal; inherently lacking in civilized values and principles; inherently untrustworthy; and that we need to be reminded that we are (considered) inferior to White people, and especially, that we must keep that demeaning status foremost in our (and their) minds.

    The current era's racist policing has been given the name carding, and because that name wasn't used in previous eras people think this is a new activity. It is not.

    It had no name I was aware of when I was growing up (and BTW there was no gun violence at the time to use as an excuse for targeting our community) but police, nonetheless, maintained exactly the same behaviours as carding.

    http://www.thestar.com/content/dam/thestar/news/gta/2013/08/16/police_carding_opponents_find_hope_in_new_york_ruling_against_stopandfrisk/carding_receipt.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterbox.jpg

    They would come up on law-abiding, innocent Black people and demand all kinds of personal information, and talk to us in a tone as though they were an occupying army and we were the barely tolerated suspicious enemy.

    http://sharenews.com/police-carding-says-i-dont-belong-im-just-tolerated/#sthash.6qB31gAP.dpuf

  • Police carding: racist, anti-black, and useless

    A new coalition called the Anti-Black Racism Network (ABRN) held a press conference at the Ryerson Student Centre Wednesday morning to blast police carding and the civic leaders who support it — namely, Mayor John Tory, Toronto Police Services Board Chair Alok Mukherjee, and new Police Chief Mark Saunders.

    Carding, if you've somehow missed it, is the police practice of arbitrarily stopping, questioning, and documenting a person — then entering their information into a database — to which young black men are disproportionately subjected.

    The ABRN argues that the exercise is racist not only in practice but in theory. Especially in the absence of any evidence to support carding's ostensible public safety objective, it can only be viewed as the latest manifestation of a centuries-old legacy of colonial efforts to put black people in their place.

    Below, we've transcribed (and edited and condensed) excerpts from the statements delivered by each of the press conference's five participants.

    Dr. Akua Benjamin, professor, Ryerson University School of Social Work

    By continuing the practice of carding in the absence of conclusive evidence of its efficacy in addressing crime, the Toronto Police Service and the Toronto Police Services Board have clearly declared black communities a threat to the public’s safety. We stand before you today to vehemently condemn such a position.

    We demand that the chief of police, Mark Saunders, and the mayor, John Tory, be as accountable to black communities as they are to non-black communities. We maintain that to continue carding in any fashion is to target the black community unlawfully and to mark the black community as not part of broader social life in Toronto.

    We want to make clear that if this is the age of information, as is so often declared, then policy must be guided by clear evidence. In the case of carding, there is no such evidence. Therefore the Anti-Black Racism Network will be issuing reports, statements, and other communications on a range of policy and political issues affecting black people’s lives in the future. As scholars, activists, professionals, and community members, we believe it is our duty to provide the evidence necessary for making informed and reliable public policy. 

    We seek to name acts of white supremacy and state and police violence directed against black communities, and we publicly demand that elected officials and state representatives urgently respond to the needs of the black communities. 

    Read more: https://nowtoronto.com/news/police-carding-racist-anti-black-and-useless/

  • Police Reform Is Impossible in America

    By Donovan X. Ramsey

    In recent weeks, the White House has reaffirmed its commitment to strengthening "community policing" around the country. The U.S. Conference of Mayors has coalesced around the same theme, releasing a report days ago with recommendations for community policing measures to be adopted nationally. The suggestions for building better "relationships" and boosting "trust" are comprehensive but, for a national crisis brought on by the killing of unarmed black people, there's one thing conspicuously absent from the public policy solutions: the acknowledgement of racism.


    Police Reform Is Impossible in America

    The New Testament says that faith is "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Well, in the absence of data to support excessive policing and police brutality in communities of color, it appears that America has just stepped out on faith.

    Rates of violent crime are down and have been falling sharply for more than 20 years. In fact, since the early 90s, the national homicide rate has fallen by 51 percent, forcible rapes have declined by 35 percent, robberies have decreased by 56 percent and the rate of aggravated assault has been cut by 45 percent. And black Americans have contributed to the decline. For blacks, rates of robbery and serious property offenses are the lowest they've been in more than 40 years. Murder, rape, assault, domestic violence—all down.

    America is safer than it was 20 years ago. Really. Still, white Americans (and many black Americans, for that matter) believe there's more violent crime than there actually is, and that blacks are largely responsible for it.

    In fact, nearly half of white Americans polled believe that violent crime has increased in the last 20 years. Another 13 percent believe that it's stayed the same. Less than a quarter of whites realize there are less violent crimes today than there were in the 90s when the crack epidemic and gang violence were at their height. Even more, whites overestimate just how much blacks are involved in "serious street crime" and, on average, believe that black people commit a larger proportion of crime than whites do. According to a 2012 study by researchers at the University at Albany, whites significantly overestimate the share of armed robberies, break-ins and drug crimes committed by black people.

    Read more: http://justice.gawker.com/police-reform-is-impossible-in-america-1683262551

  • Police street checks: Balancing people’s rights with investigative work is a juggling act

    By Todd Vondank, Peterborough This Week

    PETERBOROUGH -- City police officers have the right to stop and ask you questions.

    http://storage.canoe.ca/v1/dynamic_resize/sws_path/suns-prod-images/1297362702019_ORIGINAL.jpg?quality=80&size=650x

    Beyond that, you are free to move on, unless the officer has reasonable grounds for an investigative detention or to make an arrest.

    "It can be uncomfortable with people to speak with police on the streets," acknowledges Peterborough City police inspector Dan Smith.

    "If they feel they want to walk away from the encounter, than they are more than welcome to, unless the officer has reason to step it up to an investigative detention or an arrest."

    Police use of on-street check-ins, more widely known as carding, is being questioned across the province based on the assumption it violates the Charter of Rights. The practice remains a hot button issue in Toronto where members of minority groups say they are being targeted unfairly and carded at highly disproportionate rate.

    Insp. Smith says City police have a policy on the issue and are bound by a general order concerning bias free profiling that the force reviews annually. He adds the policy is very clear in that officers shall not use the pretences of race, place of origin, colour or ethnic origin for the sole purpose for carding.

    Read more at: http://www.mykawartha.com/news-story/5716848-police-street-checks-balancing-people-s-rights-with-investigative-work-is-a-juggling-act/

  • Police street checks: Valuable investigative tool or racial profiling?

    By Andrea Huncar, CBC News

    Each year, Edmonton police randomly stop, question and document tens of thousands of citizens who are not under arrest. It's a practice police call street checks, but others know it as carding.

    http://i.cbc.ca/1.1898578.1380860764!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/16x9_620/li-police-lrt.jpg

    Figures provided by Edmonton police show between 2011 and 2014, officers carded an average 26,000-plus people per year, a total of 105,306 over four years.

    Police insist street checks help solve and prevent crimes. Acting Staff Sgt. Brent Dahlseide, in charge of downtown foot patrols, said the stops aren't motivated by race.

    "It's not who. It's the behaviour," or the location, said Dahlseide.

    "I know we don't racially profile. I would be very taken aback if somebody came up and told me that my members who I'm putting out on the street daily were conducting their business in a racial manner. It would really surprise and shock me."

    Dahlseide said street checks might be misperceived as racial profiling based on preconceived notions about police, or when more checks are conducted in an area heavily populated by one visible minority group.

    Read more here:http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/police-street-checks-valuable-investigative-tool-or-racial-profiling-1.3226705

  • Police Violence in Toronto’s Jane and Finch Community: Cops Act Like “Military Police in Occupied Territories”

    by Ajamu Nangwaya

    The racialized, working-class community of Jane and Finch in the northwest area of the city of Toronto, especially residents of the high rise public housing and private rental buildings, have long complained about police brutality and racist policing. Glen Stuart, a former lawyer with the Community and Legal Aid Services Programme at York University’s law school, states, “Concerns around policing were one of the focal points (25 years ago) and, unfortunately, they’ve never really gone away.” Afrikan Canadian youth have borne the brunt of police repression from 31 Division (local police station).

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    In a 2011 report Jane-Finch Youth Speak Out, a group of racially diversed youth between the ages of fifteen and twenty-nine years made known their views of the behaviour of cops in their neighbourhood:

    When speaking about police, most youth were critical. Youth spoke from personal experience or what they heard from peers. They felt that rather than being helpful, police sometimes make things worse by interrogating people, invading their privacy and not treating community residents with dignity.

    Since 2006, the police have intensified their presence in the Jane and Finch area as a result of their Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS). TAVIS bills itself as “an intensive, violence reduction and community mobilization strategy intended to reduce crime and increase safety in our neighbourhoods.”

    Read more: http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/11/police-violence-in-torontos-jane-and-finch-community/

  • Policing Caribana like it’s a threat to national security

    by Ajamu Nangwaya

    Why everyting weh gwaan a foreign, a di Yardie (Jamaicans) get di blame

    As yuh quint di Yankee (Americans) dem call nuff Yardie name

    If a bank get lik (robbed), dem say di Yardie do it

    Woman get raped, Yardie life at stake

    If dem find a man dead, a Yardie buss him head

    Dem seh, Yardman deh a foreign a run di place red

    "Yardie" – Buju Banton

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    Buju Banton's lamentation about the "Yardie" getting the blame for all sorts of crime is something that Caribana (now the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival) can identify with at the gut level. This street festival has been wrongly associated with criminality. It has much to do with the fact that Afrikan bodies are linked to this event.

    According to Stephen Weir, an organizer of the festival:

    "Two years ago there was a young boy at a church party in Pickering and he was (killed) on Sunday night, and police called it a pre-Caribana party. Two years before that, a man was killed at Dundas Square a day after our parade. (Local media) called it a Caribana killing... This heightened awareness or concern about our event is based on a racist linking of events involving Black people."

    This fear of Afrikans by the political authority and its armed guardians when this group is in the street playing mas is not of recent vintage. According to University of the West Indies expert on carnival culture Dr. Keith Nurse, carnival in Notting Hill (London), Brooklyn (New York) and Toronto (Canada) were seen as exotic affairs up to the mid-1970s.

    However, as these festivals grew into massive gatherings of Afrikans, the status quo thought they had become "more menacing and policing escalated, resulting in a backlash from the immigrant Caribbean community".

    The spectre of the "Black horde" invading the White-controlled territory of Toronto to unleash its destructive inclination became an exaggerated fear among an "innocent" White citizenry. In the mind of the White imagination, carnival would only let loose the primal and uncontrolled sexual urges of Afrikans, and their inherent criminality and dangerous tendencies.

    Given the above perceived reality, the forces of law and order would be the way to control "these people". However, the police in Toronto were already regulating the behaviour of Afrikans outside of the Caribana parade.

    In 1971, the Black Student Union at the University of Toronto wrote in Contrast newspaper that Caribana ignored social issues such as "Canadian racism in all forms of discrimination in housing, lack of jobs, racism in education and police harassment" and the Black petite bourgeoisie were only interested in putting "on their show for White people".

    See more at: http://sharenews.com/policing-caribana-like-its-a-threat-to-national-security/

  • Protest against racial profiling

    By TOM GODFREY

    A noisy protest against the alleged racial profiling and carding of Black youth in the Jane-Finch community by Toronto Police was held outside 31 Division station on the weekend.

    Members of the Jane-Finch Action Against Poverty (JFAAP) said area youth are being targeted even more for checks these days by officers working to secure facilities at York University that are being used for the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.

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    About 200 members of JFAAP and the Network for the Elimination of Police Violence chanted and while carrying signs outside the busy Norfinch Dr. station last Saturday as officers looked on from inside. They made no comment and did their best to avoid the protesters. 

    The protesters are angry over the treatment of Black youth by the police and staged the event to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which is marked on March 21.

    JFAAP spokesperson, Sabrina Gopaul, said youth in the area continue to be racially profiled in Jane-Finch even as Chief Bill Blair and the Police Services Board work on a policy designed to end the arbitrary manner in which Black youth are stopped and documented by police. The policy, which has been in the works for almost a year, is expected to provide guidelines for police officers to follow when interacting with members of the public. With the chief set to retire next month, former Chief Justice Warren Winkler has been brought in to help speed things up.

    Read more: http://sharenews.com/protest-against-racial-profiling/

  • R v Grant: Psychological Detention and the Exclusion of Evidence [Relevant to Carding]

    Written by Bren Legault

    ii. What does it mean to be “psychologically detained”?

    Following R v Therens[18], a previous Supreme Court case, the Court concluded that people can be psychologically detained in two situations:

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    1. When they are under a true legal obligation not to walk away from a police officer or other agent of the state (explicit indication from the police such as “stay here – you can’t leave”); and

    2. When they reasonably believe that they have no option to walk away from a police officer or other agent of the state (implicit indication from the police such as several officers blocking the only exit from an area).[19]

    Courts must look at the specific facts of each case through the eyes of a reasonable person in the place of the accused individual. The Supreme Court outlined the following factors to be considered:

    1. The circumstances as reasonably perceived by the individual, including the conduct that gave rise to the encounter with the police and whether or not the individual was singled out;

    2. The police conduct, with specific attention to the use of tactics, length, tone, and content of the interaction between the police and the accused individual; and

    3. The characteristics of the individual actually stopped, including his or her stature, age, visible minority status and level of sophistication.[20]

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    In setting out these factors, the Supreme Court recognized that police officers must be able to carry on with their everyday functions without worrying about detaining members of the public by accident.[21] The Supreme Court reaffirmed that normal interactions with the police and the public will not give rise to psychological detentions, since this would trigger constant requirements of the right to counsel.

    Read more: http://ualawccsprod.srv.ualberta.ca/ccs/index.php/constitutional-issues/the-charter/6-r-v-grant-psychological-detention-and-the-exclusion-of-evidence

     

  • Refusing to Talk to the Cops: Dump Carding into the Cesspool of History

    By AJAMU NANGWAYA

    “We are creating a society where youth are afraid of police even to the point of hatred. You don’t have enough guns and tasers to control a society that hates police.”

    –  Kingsley Gilliam, Black Action Defense Committee

    Carding is an act of state and police violence. It must end through the mass refusal of the people of Toronto, especially Afrikan Canadians, other racialized peoples and the white working-class, to share their personal information with the cops.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/article24231443.ece/BINARY/w940/image.jpg

    The Toronto Police Service is using the surveillance and rights-denying regime called carding to stop, question and document the personal information of people who are not suspected of a crime. This repressive policing tactic has been disproportionately used against Afrikan Canadians and targets racialized working-class communities across Toronto.

    The cops claim that carding is an investigative and intelligence-gathering tool that is used in high crime neighbourhoods. According to the Toronto Star, “…only a small percentage of the people in their massive electronic database have been arrested or charged in Toronto in the past decade.”

    Afrikan Canadians are stopped in low-crime, predominantly white, class-privileged areas of Toronto at a rate of up 17.3 times that of their white counterparts. Racial profiling is both a means and outcome of this form of apartheid or Jim Crow policing that is a classic form of social containment, over-surveillance and repression.

    Since the appearance of Afrikans in the Americas as enslaved workers for capitalism, the policing and regulating of this group’s movement has been a standard way of maintaining their second-class citizens’ status. From the days of the Holocaust of Enslavement to today, Afrikans have been resisting the brutal violence that is involved in the policing of their bodies.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/article24231446.ece/BINARY/w940/image.jpg

    The current prominence of carding on the public radar in Toronto is attributable to the organized resistance of the Afrikan community and its allies. Long before the Toronto Star’s 2002 groundbreaking investigative report documented the racial profiling of Afrikans, the Black Action Defense Committee and other community organizations were mobilizing and educating the public about this issue.

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    The move by the Toronto Police Service Board (TPSB) to make carding more palatable with its April 2014 so-called “proactive rights-based approach” policy to its recently amended (April 16, 2015)human rights-compromising stance are attempts  at pacifying the demand from the Afrikan community for an end to carding. This carding regime is very much dependent on psychological detentionto extract information in these non-criminal encounters.

    Read more: http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/05/13/refusing-to-talk-to-the-cops/

     

  • Reject Wynne regime’s carding retention (regulation) scheme

    Network for the Elimination of Police Violence

    September 1, 2015

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


    Reject Wynne regime's carding retention (regulation) scheme


    Toronto, Ontario - The Network for the Elimination of Police Violence (NEPV) rejects the call from the Government of Ontario to retain carding by regulating the practice. Carding must be abolished now! We call on all organizations and individuals who are truly interested in community safety to boycott Wynne's public manipulation (consultation) process.

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    This manipulative exercise is an attempt to win moral legitimacy for the repressive, human rights denying practice of carding.

    Carding gets rid of the established practice of reasonable suspicion or reasonable and probable grounds as the basis for carrying out a warrantless detention. The racialized and working-class people who are stopped are being psychologically detained. They feel compelled to give the cops their personal information in these non-criminal encounters.

    NEPV has been very clear in its position --- carding must go! We see nothing of value in a tool that pre-criminalizes our communities, targeting, and harassing people who are not criminal suspects.

    Intruding into our communities and forcefully gathering random information on residents should be seen as what is really is: an occupation force spying on innocent civilians.

    We will not assist the police or the Liberal Party's regime at Queens Park in designing the terms of the occupation of our communities and the regulation of our physical movement.

    We call on all concerned organizations and individuals to actively resist efforts at masking the abhorrent process of carding. Instead of sitting down to discuss how to reform these illegal, highly intrusive and completely discriminatory practices, NEPV supports calls to end the victimization of racialized and working-class communities that are suffering from the violence of carding across Turtle Island or Canada.

    Let us get together and organize neighbourhood-based Free2Go campaigns to empower our neighbours to stop sharing their personal information with the cops. If we stop sharing our personal information in these non-criminal interactions with the police, carding will come to an end. Let's organize and not agonize over discriminatory policing tactics.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Media contact:
    Ellie Adekur-Carlson, Chairperson, Network for the Elimination of Police Violence
    Phone: 647.882.6581
    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Website: http://nepv.org

  • Saskatoon police do more carding than other Canadian cities: report

    By CBC News

    Saskatoon Police confirm that nearly 4,500 people were stopped and asked for identification in the city, an average that is higher than other Canadian cities such as Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

    http://i.cbc.ca/1.3197102.1440035154!/fileImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/16x9_620/saskatoon-police-on-patrol.jpg

    But the chief of the police, Clive Weighill, says the practice helps solve and prevent crimes.

    "We want our officers out at night checking on people in suspicious circumstances. That's why we have patrol," Weighill told CBC. "I think it deters crime and helps people be accountable for what they're doing in the evening."

    The numbers come from a special report in the Globe and Mail that compiled data from police forces across the country on the practice of carding: where a police officer stops a member of the public and asks to see their ID. 

    Saskatoon police tell CBC that officers performed 4,457 street checks last year. That's about 1.7 per cent of the city's population, which police say is about the same rate as Halifax.

    According to the Globe and Mail report, that puts Saskatoon near the top of the list in Canada.

    Weighill said his officers are well versed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and aware that people do not have to stop and give their name if asked.

    "I would hope citizens understand why we're doing our job and why we're asking those questions," he said. "There's nothing to fear by supplying their name."

    Read more at: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/saskatoon-police-do-more-carding-than-other-canadian-cities-report-1.3196741

  • Stop Racial Profiling: A message from the OHRC | Halte au profilage racial: Un message de la CODP

    OHRC Interim Chief Commissioner, Ruth Goba talks about the need to stop racial profiling by Toronto Police.

    link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwRQP1ZN5pg

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    La commissaire en chef intérimaire de la CODP, Ruth Goba, parle de la nécessité de mettre un terme au profilage racial par les services policiers de Toronto.TRANSCRIPT:Racial profiling is a major human rights concern that affects the lives of people in our communities. We recognized the devastating impact of racial profiling on Black, Indigenous, and other racialized people in this province ten years ago. That was when the Commission first launched an inquiry and report into the impact of this practice.

    It is important that all stakeholders, especially police, work actively to address this insidious practice. We at the Ontario Human Rights Commission have been working with communities, police, and other parties to bring attention to this issue. Unfortunately, despite some small successes, racial profiling continues to be a serious concern. Young Black men are targeted and stigmatized every day.

    Over the last two years, the Toronto Police Services Board and the Toronto Police Service have attempted to respond to concerns of racial profiling during street stops. However, just in the last month what seemed like major steps forward have not materialized. Instead the Toronto Police Service has taken a step backward.

    In response, we are re-assessing our relationship with the Toronto Police Service and the Toronto Police Services Board on this issue. At the OHRC, we are committed to the struggle against racial profiling. We will continue to explore using the full range of powers at our disposal to end this practice.

  • Talking to the Police

    By Hosseini Law Firm

    Generally you do not have to talk to the police. This applies to both those being investigated and witnesses. If the police ask you to give a statement or answer questions, you may refuse. You have the legal right to remain silent.

    https://showbams.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/the-festival-lawyer-five-tips.jpg?w=610&h=908

    Talking to the Police

    Your right not to speak to the police when questioned is part of your fundamental right to be free from self-incrimination; that is, to not provide the police with evidence that may be used against you.

    You have a duty to identify yourself by giving them your name, however, and in some circumstances, your birth date and address.

    http://crimebodge.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Right-to-Remain-Silent-cover-3d.jpg

    If you refuse to identify yourself to the police, they can hold you in custody for the purposes of determining who you are.

    The scenario is common. The police might think that you know about an incident.

    The police may or may not be seeking to charge you. Or suppose you have already been charged, or are at the police station and about to be charged. You might think that you can avoid being charged by telling your story, or “talking your way out of it”.

    Remember: the role of the police in investigating crime is to charge people whom they have reasonable grounds to believe have committed a criminal offence.

    To lay a charge, a police officer must have grounds to believe they are justified in doing so. In most circumstances, if they have grounds, they will lay the charge. Thus, when a police officer asks for a statement from someone who has notbeen charged, it usually means they do not have grounds to lay the charge.

    Any statement may just provide those grounds.

    The police must tell you of your right to remain silent.

    The reason for the right to silence is to give you the opportunity to speak to a lawyer and then make a free and meaningful choice about whether to speak.

    After speaking with the lawyer, the police can continue to ask you anything they want without the presence of a lawyer.

    The general rule of thumb is to refrain from speaking with the police.  The three situations below underscore your right to remain silent.

    Read more: http://www.hosseinilaw.com/talking-to-the-police/

  • The 1992 Yonge Street Uprising Left a Lasting Impression on Racial Tensions in Ontario

    By Ajamu Nangwaya

    "Give people light and they will find a way."

    - Ella Baker

    The May 4, 1992 Yonge Street Uprising was a pivotal moment in the resistance history of Afrikan people in the city of Toronto. ["Afrikan Canadians" or "Afrikan" refers to all people of Afrikan racial ancestry living in Canada and is inclusive of those born in Canada, Afrika, the Caribbean or elsewhere. Afrikan is spelled with a "k" because most Afrikan languages follow this convention.] This rebellion was the first and only one led by Afrikan Canadians against racial and class oppression in this metropolitan area. It forced the Ontario New Democratic Party government of the day to enact a slew of anti-racist and equity public policy initiatives.

    http://www.blogto.com/upload/2010/06/20100626-POTD.jpg

    The Yonge Street Uprising shared the same proximate triggering event as that which tend to inspire rebellions among Afrikans in the United States. An act of police violence was the immediate cause that led to this uprising in Toronto and the same factor is at work in the urban insurrections that have broken out in America since the 1960s to the present day.

    The cops are the front-line personnel of the occupation army-like presence that is the police department in working-class or racialized communities across Canada and the United States. The writer James Baldwin accurately captures the operational dynamic that makes incidents of police violence the tripwire for urban rebellion in an article in Esquire in 1960.

    In Toronto of the late 1980s and early 1990s there were a number of cases of police killing and wounding of African-Canadians and it created a powder keg-like situation in many neighbourhoods against the appearance of an open season on this racialized group. The Yonge Street Uprising erupted over Toronto cop Robert Rice killing of the 22-year-old African-Canadian youth Raymond Lawrence in a west-end neighbourhood.

    A demonstration was called by the Black Action Defense Committee, the leading activist police accountability group in Toronto at the time, to demonstrate against this latest case of police violence. It attracted over one thousand participants. This protest action was also expressing solidarity with the Los Angeles (Rodney King) Rebellion that emerged from the acquittal of the cops for their brutal attack on African-American civilian Rodney King.

    Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/ajamu-nangwaya/yonge-street-uprising_b_7220784.html

  • The Black love affair with Toronto Mayor John Tory

    By AJAMU NANGWAYA

    dem wi’gi` whey dem talent to di state(they will give away their talent to the state)
    an’di black workin’ class andahrate
    (and underrate the Black working class)
    dem wi’ side wid oppressah
    (they will side with the oppressor)
    w’en di goin’ get ruff
    (when the going gets rough)
    side wid aggressah
    (side with aggressor)
    w’en di goin’ get tuff
    (when the going gets tough)

    dem a black petty-booshwah(they are Black petty bourgeois)
    dem full of flaw
    (they are full of flaw)

     - Linton Kwesi Johnson, Di Black Petty Booshwah

    Given the early record of the conservative mayor of Toronto John Tory in standing against issues that are of interests to the African Canadian community, it would not be hard for a casual observer of the African petty bourgeois elements to declare that their self-interested or politically misguided endorsement of candidate Tory has left them with egg on their collective face.

    http://pridenews.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/GWYN-JOE-SYGNUS-and-Tory.jpg

    John Tory has long been a major political figure in the Progressive Conservative Party in Ontario. He has served as a leader of the party, advisor to conservative administrations and a reliable supporter of conservative interests.

    During the latter stage of the October 2014 municipal election campaign, a seemingly puzzling but revealing display of political bipartisanship was executed by the African petty bourgeois elements in their support for the mayoral candidacy of the “old money” operative John Tory.

    These middle-class or middle-income forces from the three mainstream capitalist parties in Canada (Conservative Party, Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party) embraced this “Red Tory” politician with reckless abandon and unfettered enthusiasm.

    Read more: http://sharenews.com/the-black-love-affair-with-toronto-mayor-john-tory/

  • The Black Petty Bourgeois’ Love Affair With Toronto’s Conservative Mayor John Tory

    By Ajamu Nangwaya
    Guest Writer

    Given the early record of the conservative mayor of Toronto John Tory in standing against issues that are of interests to the African Canadian community, it would not be hard for a casual observer of the African petty bourgeois elements to declare that their self-interested or politically misguided endorsement of candidate Tory has left them with egg on their collective face.

    John Tory has long been a major political figure in the Progressive Conservative Party in Ontario. He has served as a leader of the party, advisor to conservative administrations and a reliable supporter of conservative interests.

    During the latter stage of the October 2014 municipal election campaign, a seemingly puzzling but revealing display of political bipartisanship was executed by the African petty bourgeois elements, in their support for the mayoral candidacy of the “old money” operative John Tory.

    These middle-class or middle-income forces from the three mainstream capitalist parties in Canada (Conservative Party, Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party) embraced this “Red Tory” politician with reckless abandon and unfettered enthusiasm.

    Mary Anne Chambers, a former cabinet minister and Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) in Ontario registered her support by declaring, “Toronto really does need John Tory to serve as its mayor now!’’

    Another former Ontario Liberal cabinet minister, Speaker of the provincial parliament and MPP Alving Curling explained his unbridled endorsement of his erstwhile political rival, “His conduct was excellent in the House.  He was a gentleman and followed the rules accordingly. He made my job a little easier except for the other guys inside there. I found him to be a person who respected decorum of the House and I have a great respect for him.”

    Curling praised Tory for his involvement in charitable and civic activities that merely confirm the noblesse oblige expectations of this member of one of Canada’s old establishment families.

    Former school board trustee and current Ontario Liberal MPP and Minister of Tourism Culture and Sport Michael Coteau gave his support to Tory. There just might be some truth to the claim that politics is a maker of strange bedfellows.

    Read more: http://pridenews.ca/2015/05/01/the-black-petty-bourgeois-love-affair-with-torontos-conservative-mayor-john-tory/

  • The Case for a Black Police Chief in Toronto

    By Arnold Minors, consultant and mediator
     
    PRESENTATION TO“BLACKPOLICECHIEF:FRIENDORFOE”- April 15, 2015

    Goodevening.

    I want to first say that I regret not being able to be here inperson.

    I thank Ajamu Nangwaya for offering me the opportunity to have this statement read toyou.

    I join with you in the need to address the elimination of discriminatory policing,which sometimes, as we all know, has lethal impact. But, as bad as the killings are, it is thethousand stops, the thousand humiliations in front of our friends, seen by the public which adds up toa daily dose of unnecessary poison administered by people who are sworn to serve and protectus.

    I join with you in wanting to erase the scourge of racism. Ineducation, in social services,in employment, and, of course, in policing. I was on the Toronto Police Services Board over20 years ago. I said back then that any police officer who was found to have engagedinracist policing should be fired. My words were “His ass should be grass.”I was condemned forsaying so. In2015, racist policing should not be a cause for requiring training. Dismissal should bethe penalty. That would get theirattention.


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    Every single life matters. We deserve to be able to work and play everywhere withoutbeing harassed just because we may be poor or a person ofcolour.

    That brings me to why I wanted to speak to the topic of this meeting thisevening.

    I believe that it is vital that we have fairness in all areas of employment in Toronto. Fairnessin employment ought not to still be a topic of discussion in 2015. Back in 1993, I tried then to geta police chief who wasBlack.

    We deserve to have the most competent woman or man as chief of police in this city.I thinkthat mostly everyone in this room, if not all of you, believes that there are Black people whoare capable of being Chief of Police. Mark Saunders and Peter Sloly were selected to beDeputy Chiefs as a result of a competitive process. Inthis racist society, I believe that they are likelyto bebetter,muchbetter,thantheircolleaguesiftheygotselected.Everybodyknowsthatifyou’re Black, youhave to be twice as good as a White person to be seen asequal.

    I don’t know if many of youknow that some years ago there were three senior Blackofficerswho said, publicly, that some police officers in Toronto engaged in racial profiling. They madethe statement at considerable risk to their careers. David McLeod,former head of 31 Divisionjust down the street, was one of them. I do not have time to tell the nasty stories of what happenedto him. He retired last yearto become a senior investigator in Jamaica. Keith Forde, nowalso retired, was the second. Peter Sloly was thethird.

    I am very aware of how very,very difficult it is to be Black and take public positionsabout policing in Toronto. I am, as a consultant of 40 years, very aware of the toll it takes onBlack people and other people of colour as they struggle to get hired, to get recognized, toget promoted. I am aware that most Black people who succeed in their struggle and rememberthat they are Black get criticised for what they might not do or be able to do. But are almostnever embraced and supported for being there in the first place. Ina hard, hard place. I’msure ifhe were here, President of the United States BarackObama would be able to tell youaboutthat.

    And there are probably not many places that are harder than the Toronto PoliceService.

    We must have discussions and action about elimination of police violence, especiallydirected disproportionately against people of colour and poor people. Wemust continue thatstruggle.

    But we also must find waysto put our money where are mouths are and ensure thatcapable Black people and other people of colour rise to the level theydeserve.

    We must then take action to ensure that a Black Police Chief is supported by us - and pushedif necessary - to address police violence. Not one of us is perfect. Butworking together wecan make this world less imperfect. Let’s join hands in supporting Black people and other peopleof colour to be as successful as they can be, AND help them to do the work that they must dowhich will be even harder because they are people ofcolour.

    Failing to support any capable and conscious person of colour in the struggle weakens all of us.It helps to make us more vulnerable. Not less so. The supporters of White supremacy takeheart when they see us publicly not supporting capable people of colour. They take heart becausewe are doing their work forthem.

    Let’s not do that. Let’s all join together to make all our lives better. Let’skeep the real enemyin our sights. Let us not take our eyeoff the ball. The goal isjustice.

    Thank youfor listening.