Critics are calling for an Alberta-wide ban on street checks as a CBC News investigation reveals Edmonton police have been disproportionately stopping, questioning and documenting Aboriginal and black people in non-criminal encounters.
The data, obtained by CBC News from the Edmonton Police Service through a freedom of information request, shows that in 2016, Aboriginal women were nearly 10 times as likely to be checked as white women.
The same year, Aboriginal people were six times more likely than white people to be stopped by Edmonton police. Black people were almost five times as likely as white people to be stopped.
(CBC is using the term Aboriginal as reported by police and Statistics Canada, instead of Indigenous).
Edmonton police say street checks play an important role in solving crimes and insist stops are not racially motivated. (CBC News Graphics) "It’s racial profiling — just full stop," said Bashir Mohamed of Black Lives Matter (BLM) Edmonton. The group is calling for an end to street checks, which are also commonly known as carding, and the destruction of the data collected by police.
"Within the black community, people have known that this has been happening and the numbers just prove what we already suspected."
The BLM position is supported by the Edmonton-based Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women and Progress Alberta, the advocacy group involved in the release of data last week that showed black and Indigenous people in Lethbridge are disproportionately carded.
Over the past two years, the practice, which also includes vehicle stops, has increasingly come under fire in Edmonton from lawyers, human rights advocates and Indigenous leaders."We are in support that carding should be banned," said Rachelle Venne, CEO of the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women. Venne sits on Edmonton police Chief Rod Knecht’s Indigenous advisory council.Her group runs programs to remove […]
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