Waterloo Regional Police conducted 3,304 ‘street checks’ last year

By Liz Monteiro

WATERLOO REGION — Local police officers stop citizens on the streets and get personal information when they suspect suspicious behaviour, says Waterloo Regional Police Chief Bryan Larkin.

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In Waterloo Region, it's known as "street checks," he said.

But randomly stopping people on the street — a practice known as "carding" in Toronto and other urban areas — is not a police tactic used here, he said. "The context of walking down the sidewalk and all of a sudden an officer appears and says, 'Who are you? Give me your name and number and, by the way, I'm submitting a content card.' That is not a regular operation for us," he said.

The issue of carding has gained traction this week when Toronto Mayor John Tory said he wants to end carding and plans to go before the city's police board on June 18 to call for the elimination of the practice.

Read more at: http://www.therecord.com/news-story/5671847-waterloo-regional-police-conducted-3-304-street-checks-last-year/

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/

'Street checks' common practice among GTA police services

By Codi Wilson, CP24

Toronto police continue to face heavy criticism for 'carding' people on the street but it appears a similar practice is widely used by other police services in the GTA , though they are quick to distance themselves from the unpopular term.

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Peel Regional Police, Durham Regional Police, York Regional Police and the Ontario Provincial Police all say they practice a form of "street checks." Toronto police too prefer to use the term "community engagement" in lieu of 'carding.'

In York region, authorities say they do have a policy on "police checks" but that the service "does not engage in the practice of carding."

Spokesperson Const. Andy Pattenden explained the difference by defining carding as "the systemic questioning or collecting of information from citizens in specific target areas."

"Our officers are expected to make use of a function in our records management system to gather information and intelligence by documenting interactions such as traffic stops where only warnings are issued, noise or youth complaints where no charge is laid or calls regarding suspicious people or vehicles," he told CP24.com in an emailed statement.

Pattenden said the service regularly analyzes the statistics they gather with regard to these police checks.

"These statistics show they mirror the demographic of the communities we police in terms of race and ethnic origin," he added.

Pattenden also said police work within the laws to collect this information.

"The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act permits the collection of personal information for law enforcement purposes, with or without the consent of knowledge of that person. However our officers are mindful of the fact they must not practice arbitrary detention or discriminate against a particular group and we have internal policies which address these areas."

The Durham Regional Police Service also said officers conduct street checks and fill out contact cards but officials did not provide CP24.com with the specifics of their policies.

Read more at: http://www.cp24.com/news/street-checks-common-practice-among-gta-police-services-1.2405019