Kelly Bennett, CBC News

Visible minorities, especially black people, are disproportionately street checked!/fileImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/16x9_620/sandra-wilson-hamilton-police-service-community-relations.jpg

Police have been saying for years — as recently as the chief's comments in June — they don't keep race-based statistics. Keeping that data would mean the cops could provide the kind of breakdown that has led to criticisms in Toronto, Kingston and Ottawa.

But we learned Thursday that they do keep race data and identifiers when they stop someone; they just haven't before analyzed that data.

Visible minorities make up about 15.7 per cent of Hamilton's population, according to 2011 Census numbers the Hamilton Police cited Thursday. But 25 per cent of street checks were conducted on visible minorities between 2010 and 2014.

The rate is especially disproportionate for black people, who made up 3.2 per cent of Hamilton's population in 2011. Between 11 and 14 per cent of the street checks done in Hamilton were on black people between 2010 and 2014 -- a rate three to four times the population.

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