Raw footage by the Objective News Agency of the press conference by two African Nova Scotian youths, part of a much larger group subjected to racist profiling while visiting Parliament Hill.
None of the provincial political parties is demonstrating the leadership necessary to stop carding in our province. Even the NDP is not endorsing the immediate moratorium on the racist practice that was requested by prominent members of the African Nova Scotian community.
Solidarity Halifax is asking Nova Scotians to join members of the Black community who want to see an immediate moratorium on the racist practice of carding in Halifax and all of Nova Scotia. Here is how it works.
Six months after members of the Black community in Halifax requested a suspension of the practice of carding, as well as an investigation, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission still has not hired the data expert it suggests is necessary. That expert is required to determine whether racial profiling explains why Black people in HRM are three times more likely to be stopped than white people, says the Commission. Meanwhile the racist practice of carding continues, and the deadline for completion of the investigation is a moving target.
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.
Ever since we found out about anti-Black bias in Halifax police street check practices the police department and municipal politicians have tried to make the issue go away. The hiring of an “expert” to determine whether there even is any bias at all is just the latest shameful example.
In April the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission announced that it is hiring an expert to determine whether racial profiling explains why Black people are more than three times more likely to be street checked than white people. Because there could be other reasons, apparently. Well, that investigation is already behind schedule, that expert still needs to be hired, and the Fall is the new July.
Halifax Regional Police is reluctant to say how secure the carding data it collects really is. Since this information is pretty private you’d think they’d be eager to assure the public that there is no reason to worry. But even a FOIPOP request hits a blue wall.
The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission is taking the lead in a narrow investigation into carding by Halifax police. An expert will be hired to determine if discrimination actually occurs. Meanwhile Black people will continue to be targeted.
An extensive report by highly respected Ontario criminologists argues that carding in North America does much more harm than good. One more reason why carding should stop in Halifax.