Dr. Dawg

Walking while Black in Toronto

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G20 police thuggery.jpg

From the folks who brought you the G20 thugfest (above). The statistics are now plain for everyone to see: Toronto police are making a habit of stopping Black and brown folks out of all proportion to their numbers, demanding detailed information and dumping it into a huge database.

A Star analysis of Toronto police stop data from 2008 to mid-2011 shows that the number of young black and brown males aged 15 to 24 documented in each of the city’s 72 patrol zones is greater than the actual number of young men of colour living in those areas.

Young white males and those designated as “other” do attract police attention, but nothing as pronounced as black and brown youth.

What amazes me is that most of the people stopped for no reason by the cops had the option of simply walking away, but obviously did not do so.

If you are in a vehicle, you must provide the police with your licence and registration. If you are formally “detained,” the latter legally requiring reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime, you must remain with the officer detaining you, but you need answer no questions.

Just out for a walk, however? Stopped by a cop who wants to “card” or “document” you?

You have rights, while the cops merely have an agenda, which we might reasonably guess at. Just say nothing: stroll away. And there’s not a legal thing Bill Blair’s race police can do about it.

I emphasize, however, the word “legal”: there are always nightsticks, Tasers and trumped-up charges to enforce compliance. At such times, witnesses are handy: should those of darker complexion in Toronto walk in groups for their own protection?

[H/t mattt]

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on March 9, 2012 12:59 PM.

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