Some thoughts about the RCMP’s refusal to apologize for racist street checks. If you think the Halifax Board of Police Commissioners isn’t doing a good job, wait til you find out about rural Nova Scotia…
Three pictures of Halifax police officers taken during this afternoon’s reprehensible removal of a crisis shed at the old Halifax library. They’re nothing special, but perhaps they raise some questions.
Judy Haiven takes a close look at the human rights tribunal that found Halifax police discriminated against a Black man who was ticketed for jaywalking on Gottingen Street. “We cannot treat the police force in Halifax as though it has a few bad apples. We cannot assume that racism within the police — or any institution — is the exception,” she writes.
After street checks were determined to be illegal in October 2019, Mark Furey, the Justice minister at the time, put a stop to the practice. Case closed, you might think. Time to move on. Unfortunately no, says Vanessa Fells of the African Nova Scotian Decade for People of African Descent Coalition (ANSDPAD).
News release: Thirteen community organizations call on government to ban illegal practice on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. After countless reviews, reports and public meetings, the Nova Scotia government finally directed police to end the practice in October of 2019. But there was a glaring exception to the directive: police were still permitted to conduct street checks if they judged that an individual was involved in “suspicious activity.”
We don’t really know what’s happening with the Wortley recommendation that race data be collected on all police interactions with civilians, and that’s not good.
If you’re African Nova Scotian and live or work in Halifax, Dartmouth or the surrounding area then Jessica Bundy would very much like to talk with you about policing. Bundy is a young African Nova Scotian academic working on a project on the African Nova Scotian experiences with policing in Halifax and urban Nova Scotia.
PSA: “I am interested in hearing more about African Nova Scotians’ experiences with policing, including how they felt about the street check inquiry and ban, and how their experiences with police impact their lives.”
Judy Haiven on what she learned teaching a two-day workshop on sexual harassment and sexual assault to new RCMP recruits in Regina in the nineties. It didn’t go well…
It would be good to know how many African Nova Scotians are being targeted as police get more aggressive in enforcing COVID-19 regulations, and how that number compares to the white population. It was exactly to answer these questions that Dr. Wortley recommended that the police track race-based data on all interactions with citizens. However, we will never know, as work on that recommendation hasn’t even started.