By Amanda Warren
Last week, we showed how police brutality is one of America's most popular exports to the UK. It's gaining ground in Canada too, with their own cases of deaths at the hands of police, brutality, tasering, raids and unnecessary animal killings. We just don't always hear about it, what with our own average of three citizen deaths a day by police. It's hard to beat the U.S. at a Police State, but Canada is on its way to full emulation.
In the U.S. getting "carded" - asked for ID when buying alcohol or cigarettes - can either be an annoying occurrence or a little self-esteem boost depending on age. "Carding," however, is an ominous word in Canada because it's their word for "stop and frisk" which is regarded as controversial. It's conducted differently there (see below).
The efforts to unite and stop police brutality and press for accountability have been fragmented by blurring the actions and highlighting them as racism. However, when it comes to carding, race does play a role because it includes profiling the next victim of harassment, just as in stop and frisk.
Toronto's new and first black police chief is finding it a little difficult to explain to the entire community why carding and profiling are "necessary."
Carding is also called "street checks" by police, involves interrogation and ends with request for ID and recording the person's information. But the ID is not why it's called carding.