Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Race Matters - Blacks in Toronto disproportionately subject to contact cards

"In a freedom of information request that spanned nearly seven years, the Star obtained six years’ worth of contact-card data from Toronto police. The Star analysis shows race, age and gender are big factors in who gets stopped. Looking at blacks and whites of all ages, blacks are three times more likely to be stopped. 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."

The issue of using contact cards to identify and monitor Black youth in Toronto has been referred to by Professor Tanovich as a "no walk list." In 2007, the Toronto Star published his commentary "One list for air travellers, one list for Black youth" which brought attention to this problem.

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