I went to the community meeting in the Halifax North End, called by the Human Rights Commission, to talk about police street checks. The overall consensus: Halifax police behaviour is often racist, the practice of carding itself is racist, and the community is tired of having to tell white people this over and over without anything ever substantially changing for the better.
It took a while, but with the hiring of criminologist Dr Scot Wortley the analysis of Halifax carding data can finally begin. I went to the Board of Police Commissioners to get the details, and for a bonus finally got to ask Chief Blais why police collected race-based stats for ten years, but in all that time never looked at them.
The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission has finally hired a data expert to analyse police check data within HRM. That was the bit of news delivered by Halifax Regional Police chief Jean Michel Blais at this Monday’s Halifax Board of Police Commissioners meeting. That’s eight months after a Freedom of Information request revealed that Black Haligonians are three times more likely to be subjected to police checks than white people. Eight months is way too slow.
An interim report presented by Halifax Regional Police chief J.M. Blais at the Halifax Board of Police Commissioners today suggests carding is necessary to effectively fight crime, and that too many Ontario-like checks and balances will kill the practice.