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OHRC launches public interest inquiry into racial profiling and racial discrimination by the Toronto Police Service

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November 30, 2017

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For immediate release

Toronto – Today, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) announced that it has launched a public interest inquiry into racial profiling and racial discrimination by the Toronto Police Service (TPS). Using its legislated inquiry powers under section 31 of Ontario’s Human Rights Code, the OHRC has called for the TPS, the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB) and the Special Investigations Unit to provide a wide range of data to determine exactly how and where racial profiling operates in law enforcement.

The OHRC is inquiring into the 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, including in the areas of:

  • Stop and questioning practices
  • Use of force
  • Arrests and charges, and forms and conditions of release for various offence categories, including:
    • simple drug possession
    • obstructing or assaulting a police officer
    • causing a disturbance
    • failing to comply with a bail condition (see Terms of Reference for complete list).

The Commission will also examine the TPS and TPSB’s culture, training, policies, procedures and accountability mechanisms relating to racial profiling and racial discrimination.

The OHRC expects to examine and report on any other relevant circumstances that may arise during the course of the inquiry. They will conduct research, retain experts, consult with key stakeholders, and receive information from affected individuals, interested groups and organizations (contact legal@ohrc.on.ca or 416-314-4547).

“The community has waited for over 40 years to see progress towards eliminating racial profiling, and it can’t afford to wait any longer,” said OHRC Chief Commissioner Renu Mandhane. “Now is the time to pinpoint the problem areas, and do something about them. Ultimately, there is no trust without truth.”

For pictures and video of the press conference, visit: http://bit.ly/2jsctw7.

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Media contact:
Vanessa Tamburro
Senior Communications Advisor (Acting)
Ontario Human Rights Commission
416 314 4528 | vanessa.tamburro@ohrc.on.ca