Calvin Lawrence, a former Black police officer who served with Halifax City Police in the sixties and seventies, has been following the discussion about carding from his current residence in Ottawa. He’s not happy with the Chief’s stance, and draws on his own experiences as a cop on the Gottingen and Gerrish beat to explain why.
This weekend’s featured video is The Skin We’re In, by Desmond Cole and Charles Officer. A documentary about carding and profiling and racism by a Toronto journalist, but with a surprising amount of Nova Scotia content.
We went to last night’s panel on carding at the North End Library. We planned to write about the entire evening, but we ended up with a story focused entirely on the remarkable responses by Halifax Regional Police chief J.M. Blais.
A quick update on the shameful practice of carding in Halifax. The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission is looking into it, but it is early day.
Stereotypes, ignorance and bias are very much part of the way many of Nova Scotia’s reporters tell the stories of African Nova Scotians, Mi’kmaq people and immigrants. By and large that was the consensus that emerged during a well-attended panel discussion at the University of King’s College last Friday.
Black activists write a letter asking that carding be stopped, and nobody in power wants to talk about it. No way, says the chief of police. Can’t have politicians telling the police what to do, says Stephen McNeil. “Fix the tool, don’t throw out the toolbox,” says mayor Savage.
Why it’s called carding, not street checks, and why it should stop.