TORONTO, May 27, 2005 - The Canadian Race Relations Foundation(CRRF) joined with several community organizations to call for immediate action on tackling systemic racism and which is one of the fundamental causes of racial profiling among police services as well as other organizations and institutions. The organizations were responding to the release yesterday of the results of a one-year pilot project in which police officers recorded race as part of their contact with individuals.
The study confirmed what many racialized communities and Aboriginal communities have been reporting that they have been unfairly targeted for police stops. It showed that Black were three times more likely than whites to be stopped by police, while Aboriginal peoples were one-and-half times more likely to be stopped.
The community organizations include the Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto, African Canadian Legal Clinic, Association of Black Law Enforcers, Black Action Defence Committee, National Anti-Racism Council of Canada and the Urban Alliance on Race Relations.
"If there is anything that demonstrates anti-Black racism, this report certainly does that," said Karen Mock, Executive Director of the CRRF. "At the same time we commend, again, Chief Closs of the Kingston Police and the Kingston Police Services Board for taking the bold step to do this project and for reiterating that this is not about blaming individual officers but is a systemic issue. We don't need any more studies. What we need now is for the other police services across the country to learn from this project and begin to implement changes."