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October 21, 2002
City councillor responds to racial profiling controversy
  
"The harsher treatment of Blacks than Whites by the Toronto Police, as reported
in a series of articles by the Toronto Star, is of very deep concern and a
major threat to the pursuit of a positive race relations climate in this city,"
says Councillor Sherene Shaw, Diversity Advocate for the City of Toronto.

"This is not news to the Black community in Toronto," she says. "And there is,
in addition, considerable documented evidence of this reality going back to the
Commission on Systemic Racism in the Ontario Criminal Justice System, which
reported in 1995. The fact that the province shelved this report hasn't helped
matters.

"The credibility and trust of our police to treat all members of our population
with fairness, impartiality and without discrimination is of paramount
importance. The analysis presented by the Toronto Star and the crisis of
confidence raised in our police requires resolute action."

Councillor Shaw intends to put forward a motion at Toronto City Council next
week requesting Council to direct the Police to undertake an immediate review
of its policies, guidelines and practices regarding police profiling; to review
and refine their training programs to ensure police officers have the skills to
recognize and correct actions that discriminate against black residents; and to
immediately re-establish the Police Board's Race Relations Sub-Committee.
Councillor Shaw will also ask City Council to demand why the Ontario Solicitor
General has not implemented the recommendations of the Commission on Systemic
Racism in the Ontario Criminal Justice System, which reported in 1995.

Shaw says, "Taking an ostrich-like approach of denial to these issues is an
inappropriate response that can only further aggravate police and community
race relations. We need to implement practical solutions that have long been
identified and are overdue. Given the demographics of Toronto, the issue of
race relations needs to be given top priority in the City's agenda."


Media Contact
Councillor Sherene Shaw,
Diversity Advocate and Chair, Community Advisory Committee on Race and Ethnic Relations,
416-392-1374

 

 

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