By Chris Williams

I’m not sure whether I should be amused or insulted by the proposition, put forth by various police officials over the last half decade, that carding plays an indispensable role in maintaining public safety.

Perhaps I should be amused because the Toronto Police Service has a distinguished record of being less than honest with the public, as evidenced by the fact that they won the 10th annual “Code of Silence” award given by the Canadian Association of Journalists “to the most secretive government agency in Canada.”

Perhaps I should be amused because in affluent, predominantly white parts of Toronto – such as Bloor and South Kingsway – black people are more than 10 times as likely to be carded as their white counterparts and the police justify this disparity with reference to “crime hot spots” in such areas, though, of course, they never specify the crimes or the particular “hot spots.”
Perhaps I should be amused because the police are fully aware that “stranger danger” is not the norm, meaning violent crimes such as murder, attempted murder, assault, sexual assault, kidnapping, forcible confinement and other violent crimes overwhelming take place between family members, friends and acquaintances, in which case you don’t need a contact card to identify the perpetrator; that’s especially the case for violent crimes committed against women.Read more: