Sunday, February 7, 2010

Toronto Police Racial Profiling Data Released

Kudos to the Toronto Star for last week's in-depth expose on racial profiling by the Toronto police. While officials have routinely denied that they use racial profiling, critics have always insisted that the evidence was simply being suppressed. It seems like the critics may have finally won out. The Star tried to address the issue a number of times in the past but without having the benefit of full data. Now, after filing a series of freedom of information requests over the past seven years, the evidence is finally out. The police initially denied the request but the Star fought it all the way to the Ontario Court of Appeal. Here is a snippet from the story published last week:

“Male blacks aged 15-24 are stopped and documented 2.5 times more than white males the same age...In each of the city’s 74 police patrol zones, the Star analysis shows that blacks were documented at significantly higher rates than their overall census population by zone, and that in many zones, the same holds true for “brown” people — mainly people of South Asian, Arab and West Asian backgrounds.”

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