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Call for participants: Public interest inquiry into racial profiling and discrimination by the Toronto Police

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March 19, 2018

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In advance of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (March 21), the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) is inviting people to take part in its public interest inquiry into racial profiling and racial discrimination of Black persons by the Toronto Police Service (TPS).
 

Background

On November 30, 2017 the OHRC announced its public interest inquiry. Using our legislated inquiry powers under section 31 of Ontario’s Human Rights Code, we have called for the TPS, the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB) and the Special Investigations Unit to provide a wide range of data and documents.

We are inquiring into particular practices and activities of the TPS between January 1, 2010 and June 30, 2017, to assess whether they are consistent with racial profiling and racial discrimination against the Black community. We will also examine police culture, training, policies, procedures and accountability mechanisms relating to racial profiling and discrimination.

We are currently conducting research, consulting with key stakeholders, and receiving information from affected individuals, groups and organizations.

The OHRC will report publicly on the inquiry process, its findings and recommendations.
 

We want to hear from you

We are looking for Black people to provide first-hand accounts of their experiences with the Toronto police that fall within the scope of the inquiry:

Do you feel that you have experienced racial profiling and/or racial discrimination by the Toronto police in the following areas?

  • Stop and questioning practices, or carding
  • Use of force
  • Arrests and charges, and forms and conditions of release for offences such as:
    • Out-of-sight driving offences (for example, driving without a license or insurance)
    • Simple drug possession
    • Obstructing a police officer, assaulting a police officer, assaulting a police officer to resist arrest, and uttering threats against a police officer
    • Loitering, causing a disturbance and trespassing
    • Failing to comply with a bail condition or condition of release required by a police officer.

Did your experience happen between January 1, 2010 and June 30, 2017, or more recently? 

Contact us

If you, or someone you know, would like to take part in the inquiry, contact our team at legal@ohrc.on.ca or 416-314-4547 by June 30, 2018.

A note about privacy:

  • The OHRC recognizes the potential vulnerability of affected individuals and the sensitivity of the information shared. 
  • We will take all reasonable steps to conduct any interviews in a way that protects the security of the person interviewed and respects their confidentiality.
  • We will not disclose personal information of affected individuals without informed consent.

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