FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 9, 2020
(HALIFAX, NS) – On behalf of the African United Baptist Association of Nova Scotia (AUBA) and its 19 member churches, we release the following statement regarding the impact of anti-Black racism in policing practices that disproportionately target the African Nova Scotian, Black and Caribbean communities.
As a body of faith, we collectively are outraged, saddened, and emotionally and spiritually impacted by the incidents of police brutality we all have witnessed in the United States. Yet we must not forget our Canadian reality of the historical and contemporary violence Black Nova Scotians have suffered at the hands of policing bodies. We do not need to look too far in our history to recall recent incidents of alleged police misconduct toward three Black Nova Scotians. They include the very public alleged assaults on Ms. Santina Rao at Walmart in January 2020, a 15-year-old Black youth at Bedford Place Mall in February 2020, and an adult Black man on Quinpool Road in Halifax in December 2019—all unarmed.
“We have had enough and join our voice with those who are on the streets seeking justice, fairness and safety under the same laws of our White brothers and sisters,” states Lana MacLean, Chair of Social Action Committee of the AUBA.
We call on the Halifax Board of Police Commissioners, Halifax Regional Police Chief Dan Kinsella, Justice Minister Mark Furey, and Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil’s Liberal Government to develop a plan of action to reform policing practices and to help mend the broken policing relationship with the African Nova Scotian community. Systemic changes are needed now!
The AUBA also joins with the Decade for Persons of African Descent of Nova Scotia in its call for the need to implement a Nova Scotia Policing Strategy and an African Nova Scotian Justice Institute.