The Docket – Episode 12: Carding

July 31, 2015

Last week Leo and I attended the Ottawa Police Services Board; on the agenda was the Ottawa Police Report in to the controversial practice of police ‘street checks’ – also known as ‘carding’. A practice that Toronto Mayor John Tory has called “illegitimate” and “disrespectful”.

The Ottawa police’s statistics shows that between 2011 and 2014, officers carded more than 23,000 people of whom 20% were “black” and 14% were “Middle Eastern” – despite the fact that individuals identified as “black” and “Middle Eastern” only make up 5.7% and 3.7% of the population.

In other words visible minorities are over represented in Ottawa carding incidents and perhaps even being systemically targeted.

So, I was expecting some hard questions from the Board to a police force that has publicly defended carding.

Instead there was nothing – no questions, no concerns…. nothing.

Take a minute and read the powerful article by Desmond Cole about his experiences being stopped and questioned by the police for no reason at all and tell me you don’t feel deep sense of disgust.

I wrote about the carding here: I went to the Ottawa Police Services Board meeting and you will never guess what happened…

Leo has also been very vocal on this important issue: Carding, not just a Toronto problem

So we decided to record a podcast to do what the Police Service Board would not – ask some questions.

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