toronto police

New human rights report finds extreme racial bias in Toronto policing

A stunning new report from the Ontario Human Rights Commission has found that a black person is almost 20 times more likely to be fatally shot by Toronto Police than a white person. 

The OHRC is calling the report "unprecedented," as nothing of its kind has been completed before. This is the first time this wide of an investigation has been done. 

It looks at seven years of data, dating from 2010 to 2017, and examines stop-and-question methods (including carding), use of force, and arrests in various "minor" categories, like small amounts of drug possession and bail compliance errors. 

The report also looks at the culture of policing, training, and accountability. 

During the period studied, 187 cases were studied. In those, black citizens were overrepresented. In cases that ended in serious injury or death, 30 per cent of them involved a black citizen. 60 per cent of deadly encounters and 70 per cent of fatal police shootings involved a black person. 

For comparison, black Torontonians make up less than nine per cent of the city's population. 

In a reply statement from the Toronto Police Service, the force acknowledges the report and says it only adds to its own attempts to reduce profiling and potential racism. 

Members of the community were also interviewed regarding their personal experiences. Black people reported that driving a nice car resulted in being pulled over less, as well as driving in a "white neighbourhood" or other factors that reduce implicit bias. 

The final report by the OHRC will be released in 2020. Until then, this remains the largest probe of racial bias in Canada. 

Lead photo by

wyliepoon


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