Halifax, April 10, 2019
The Nova Scotia Human Rights commission recently released a report researched and written for them by Dr. Scot Wortley. The report is titled Halifax, Nova Scotia: Street Checks Report and can be found online here.
The report is damning. It calls out racism in the Halifax Police Department (HPD) and specifically the practice of street checks which disproportionately affect the African Nova Scotian community.
We believe that these street checks are illegal because of their inherent racial bias, and have far reaching and destructive impacts.
The Report calls for an outright ban or, minimally, tightly regulating them.
Minister of Justice Mark Furey suggests that he may make a decision as early as the end of this week, Friday April 12. The CBC reports
Minister Furey at this time will not say if he favours an end to street checks. The minister also continues to defend his belief that street checks are “a valuable tool” for police officers if “used appropriately.”
That’s not good enough.
Halifax and Nova Scotia have a long history of anti Black racism. Street checks in Halifax are thought to be a Black problem and an issue for the Black community to deal with. Racism is everyone’s responsibility to address.
It’s time for all of us to stand up and say enough! To let the Halifax Regional Police, the Halifax Regional Municipality and the Province of Nova Scotia know that we stand in solidarity on this issue.
Being silent keeps racism thriving.
There are no more studies needed. There is much work to be done to undo the layers of racism at play in the HPD. Banning street checks is only a start, but an absolutely necessary one.
Let Minister Mark Furey know that we need to end the racist practice of street checks now.
Phone: (902) 424-4030, or (902) 530-3883 (constituency office), or email: JUSTMIN@novascotia.ca