FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: May 12, 2015
Carding is an Act of Police Violence against the Black Community
TORONTO, ON – The Anti-Black Racism Network is a group of scholars, activists, professionals, and community members working within various sectors. Either through our scholarship, primary employment responsibilities, and/or community involvement we focus on Black life — the study of it and ways of resisting oppressive regulations, policies, and practices that govern and impact the lives of Black people in Canada. We are interested in and concerned by the ongoing declining prospects that Black people continue to face in Canada, specifically Toronto. We believe that scholarship and our experiences in the field/academia and community can help to clarify and indeed enhance policy decisions across all levels of government in Canada that seek to positively impact Black people’s lives.
Dr. Akua Benjamin, Ryerson University
Pascale Diverlus, Vice President of United Black Students Ryerson and
Co-founder of Black Lives Matter Toronto
Anthony N. Morgan, African Canadian Legal Clinic
Dr. Rinaldo Walcott, University of Toronto
WHERE: Ryerson University: 63 Gould Street, 2nd Floor Layton room AB
WHAT: Press conference on police violence and carding
WHEN: Wednesday, May 13, 2015, 9:00am – 11:00 am
Today we turn our attention to the Toronto Police Service (TPS) and the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB), especially in regards to the practice of carding. We believe that for the TPS and the TPSB to continue carding in any form is against the evidence of its harmfulness. Further, by continuing the practice of carding in the absence of conclusive evidence of its efficacy in addressing crime, the TPS and TPSB have clearly declared Black communities a threat to the public’s safety. We stand before you today to vehemently condemn such a position. We demand that the Chief of Police, Mark Saunders and the Mayor John Tory be as accountable to Black communities as they are to other non-Black communities. We maintain that to continue carding in any fashion is to target the Black community unlawfully and to mark the Black community as not a part of broader social life in Toronto. This we see as totally unacceptable. Finally, we want to make clear that if this is the Age of Information as so often declared, then policy must be guided by clear evidence. In the case of carding there is no such evidence. Therefore the Anti-Black Racism Network will be issuing reports, statements and other communications on a range of policy and political issues affecting Black people’s lives in the future. As scholars, activists, professionals, and community members, we believe it is our duty to provide the evidence necessary for making informed and reliable public policy. With the release of the above statement, we seek to: name acts of white supremacy, state and police violence directed against Black communities and we publicly demand elected officials and state representatives to urgently respond to the needs of the Black communities.