Toronto police investigated for racial profiling, discrimination

Renu Mandhane

TORONTO, Canada – The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC)has launched a public interest inquiry into racial profiling and racial discrimination by the Toronto Police Service (TPS). The inquiry started last week Thursday.

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 theblack community, including in the areas of:

  • Stop and questioning practices
  • Use of force
  • Arrests and charges, and forms and conditions of release for various offense categories, including:
  • simple drug possession
  • obstructing or assaulting a police officer
  • causing a disturbance

failing to comply with a bail condition.

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 inquiry. They will conduct research, retain experts, consult with key stakeholders, and receive information from affected individuals, interested groups and organizations (contact 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.”