The group Black Lives Matter has denounced the new provincial rules concerning the practice of carding, saying it should be scrapped altogether.
After months of public consultation, the province released new rules for all police services in Ontario. Under the new regulations, it will be mandatory for officers to inform the person of their right not to provide their identification. A reason for the stop must also be given – it cannot be arbitrary.
Police also have to provide a receipt with the officer’s name and badge number, and any personal information entered into the police database will be restricted after five years.
Yusra Khogali, co-founder of the movement, said nothing about the new regulations addresses the core issue.
“Everything about it is actually to protect police and protect the ways in which they are violating our community,” she said.
“There is nothing that is being said about what is going to happen to the abundant cache of information that has been collected illegally, when people have been violated by police in the streets.”
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The group also says the new regulations don’t address what they call violent police behaviour toward the black community. Despite Monday night’s tense clash between protestors and police, dozens of demonstrators remain outside police headquarters.
Officers will go through a training program on topics like racism and bias awareness ahead of the new rules coming into effect in January 2017. Police Chief Mark Saunders told CityNews on Tuesday that a review will be in place to make sure no specific groups are being targeted and if data shows a particular group is being disproportionately carded, he will have to explain why or create a plan to tackle the problem.
“We’ll put the numbers out there, as we do, because transparency is important,” Saunders said. “People have to understand why we’re in neighbourhoods, why we’re doing what we’re doing and how we’re doing what we’re doing.”
Black Lives Matter is calling on supporters to come down to a rally scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
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