Ottawa Sun Editorial

Have you ever told a police officer "I'm done with this conversation," and simply walked away?

Can you imagine doing it?

Those defending the practice of police street checks or "carding" will, on occasion, point out that citizens have the right not to co-operate when stopped by police seeking their ID.

But let's be honest: Treating a conversation between a 19-year-old and an Ottawa police officer as a voluntary exchange in which either could equally walk away ignores a blatant power imbalance.

It's an inequality that underlies much of the debate around street checks, which have made headlines in Toronto but are also happening on the streets of Ottawa.

On Tuesday, Community Safety Minister Yasir Naqvi announced the Liberals will move to regulate street checks provincewide. It's likely a well-intentioned effort.

But perhaps it's time to go one step further and abandon the practice, period.

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