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Scrap, Don’t Reform, Carding

June 30, 2015

Re: Carding a racist blot on the Canadian landscape, Opinion June 19

Carding a racist blot on the Canadian landscape, Opinion June 19

The Urban Alliance on Race Relations supports the community groups that are calling for the elimination of “carding” in its entirety. “Carding,” or “Intelligence-led policing,” call it what one will, is a corrosive and atrocious practice and a blot on a city that is multi-racial and multi-ethnic.

The process of stopping and questioning a preponderance of young black and brown men is unfair, unjust and intimidating. It is even more unjust to retain details of these non-criminal interactions in a database, which comes back to haunt and taint the lives of these young people.

We support the purging of this data. In addition, any interaction with innocent individuals should respect Charter rights; thus citizens must be proactively informed at the outset of the interaction that in the absence of any criminal investigation, they are not required to answer police questions.

Further if information is exchanged between an individual and the police and retained for collection in a database, the individual stopped by the police should receive a carbon copy of the information recorded.

In order to improve relations between the police and Toronto residents, these recommendations should be implemented immediately. They are essential to not only rebuilding trust in any dialogue between communities and the Toronto Police Service, but also restoring full, fair and equal respect for all Torontonians’ human rights and civil liberties under the Charter and Ontario’s Human Rights Code.

Nigel Barriffe, President, Urban Alliance on Race Relations

Sent in to the Toronto Star.

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