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4 Comments

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Human Rights Complaint Coming Over Police Carding

Complaint alleges the practice is discriminatory, and calls for its elimination.

For years, community activists have been working to put an end to the police practice of carding, which involves stopping people on the street—often without cause—collecting their personal information, and then adding that information to an internal database. Critics says carding promotes and enables racial profiling: “A disproportionate amount of individuals stopped are young Black and Brown coloured males or members from other visible minority groups,” explains the Stop Police Carding website. “This practice is discriminatory and must be stopped.”

The Campaign to Stop Police Carding, which has been focusing on community meetings and deputations to the Toronto Police Services Board, has now decided to take the legal route: it’s teaming up with the Law Union of Ontario to submit a complaint to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.

The law union and Stop Police Carding, which held a meeting last night to discuss the planned legal action, are now inviting people who’ve been carded to participate in the challenge—complainants will receive free legal support from the Law Union and the Human Rights Legal Support Centre. Once the complaint is filed, the Toronto police will have 45 days to respond, and both parties will participate in a mediation process. If mediation produces no results, the tribunal will likely hear the case this year.

If the tribunal finds that carding is racially discriminatory, it could award financial compensation to complainants, direct the police to make changes along the lines of additional training for police—or order an end to the practice of carding.

Comments

  • Lucho Granados Ceja

    I would think that this being an election year, that those opposed to carding would canvass the municipal candidates (mayoral and counsellor positions) to get them on the record recording their position regarding carding. After all the police services board has 3 members from council.

    It is plain as day that carding is indeed a racist practice, those candidates who oppose carding should be lauded and be pressed to end it if and when they win. Those who support carding should be exposed for what they are, reactionaries that support racist policing in the most diverse city in the world.

  • Rabid Hamster

    Human Rights Tribunals no longer garner any main stream respect. They have become a forum for ridiculous complaints and even more ridiculous decisions. Consider the fact that Police target priority neighborhoods where statistics support that violent crimes are likely to occur. For social reasons beyond the control of Police, the majority of these priority neighborhoods are comprised of populations typically recognized as “minority.” To suggest that carding has anything to do with race is ignorant and is a myth propagated by a certain left wing rag with an anti-police agenda.

  • Rabid Hamster

    A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing and you are not correct. You can be lawfully detained without arrest. Your information may be recorded during that detention and fed into the Police data base. Take for example any lawful Highway Traffic Act stop. Failure to cooperate can lead to arrest. All the political rhetoric aside, “carding” is really nothing more than the retention of your information.

    • KeithB

      The Highway Traffic Act stipulates that you are legally bound to carry and produce identification(driver licence) as part of your legal obligations to operate a motor vehicle.
      There is no legal obligation, that I am aware of, to carry or produce identification when walking along the street.
      If they want to detain you, just to get your info, then let them go to the trouble. Seems unlikely they will go to the extra trouble if you are, in fact, “minding your own business”.
      Do not make it easy for them to arbitrarily collect your info!