Thursday, 24 January 2019

“I conclude that random street checks, which take considerable time and effort for a police service to conduct, have little to no verifiable benefits relating to the level of crime or even arrests,” an Ontario judge concludes after an 11-months review, including extensive consultation with members of the Ontario Black, Indigenous and racialized communities, as well as police representatives.

Didn’t hear much about the police check study over the summer, but the NS Human Rights Commission recently launched an online survey asking all HRM residents about their encounters with police. We have long argued that what is needed is not yet another study, but an immediate stop to the racist practice, but maybe the survey has some redeeming qualities.

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.