Last week, we showed how police brutality is one of America’s most popular exports to the UK. It’s gaining ground in Canada too, with their own cases of deaths at the hands of police, brutality, tasering, raids and unnecessary animal killings. We just don’t always hear about it, what with our own average of three citizen deaths a day by police. It’s hard to beat the U.S. at a Police State, but Canada is on its way to full emulation.
In the U.S. getting “carded” – asked for ID when buying alcohol or cigarettes – can either be an annoying occurrence or a little self-esteem boost depending on age. “Carding,” however, is an ominous word in Canada because it’s their word for “stop and frisk” which is regarded as controversial. It’s conducted differently there (see below).
The efforts to unite and stop police brutality and press for accountability have been fragmented by blurring the actions and highlighting them as racism. However, when it comes to carding, race does play a role because it includes profiling the next victim of harassment, just as in stop and frisk.
Toronto’s new and first black police chief is finding it a little difficult to explain to the entire community why carding and profiling are “necessary.”
From National Post:
the practice of stopping and collecting information from someone who is not under investigation and recording that encounter on a paper or electronic form known variously as a “contact card,” “check-up slip,” “field information report” or “information only” report.
The Canadian Civil Liberties Union says, “This is a national issue – Policies are very much needed to restrict police activities when they don’t have grounds to detain somebody.”
Although Chief Mark Saunders is firmly sticking with carding practices – he does so despite growing ire, especially among black Canadians who feel targeted.
After just four days into the job, and after being pressed at the African Canadian Summit in North York, he said:
Abolishing [carding] is not the way in which we are going to say ‘Everything’s going to be better.’
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From Toronto Sun:
If we remove the ability of our officers to engage with the community, all I can tell you is it will put us in a situation where there will be an increase in crime.
It was the first time residents demanded a stop to it. He minimized their concerns and never used the term, “carding” in the initial speech:
It wasn’t that what we were doing was catastrophic.
He calls what the police do with carding “social costs” and vowed community safety, although one audience member said that was code for “over policing.” “If anybody thinks tomorrow is a new day, it’s not,” he said.
Instead, he vaguely promised incremental changes, focus on “officer training,” wanting to eliminate the idea of “random” stops (whatever that means), and future talks with community leaders – but he is adamantly going forth with carding. He said arguing about how policies are worded wasn’t going to bring any change – change wouldn’t happen over night. I think Canadians don’t care so much about the word, but the actions.
This guy is a wordsmith and a master him-hawer. He is telling Ontario residents to expect nothing by complicating his words about how “complicated” law is – too complicated for them to understand, apparently. This is what master manipulators do when faced with a direct demand. Plus, they try to look appeasing while getting their agenda. Regardless, carding will continue, he says. We need intelligence for gang culture, he says outright to the people repeatedly abused by police and not feeling safe at all.
Even with increased public pressure to stop the practice, Canadian officials are painting the practice as “vital intelligence gathering.” As you might imagine, some people are repeatedly targeted for interrogation, 50 times in one case, even though the “intelligence” gathered on cards and repeat encounters should let officers know about the person. Repeat encounters instill paranoia and distrust. Which, of course, signals that the police are actually picking on people they target. What’s in my file? people are left to wonder. It’s based on the officer’s perception.
Stop and frisk or carding should be ended immediately, regardless of what name it goes by or in what manner it is performed. No matter what TV tells us, people have a right to travel and walk unmolested; they are presumed innocent until proven guilty. They are not to be harassed and molested for thought crimes based on how they look or on an officer’s whim and career boost. The same person should not be harassed for the rest of his or her life because of God-given appearances. You can’t end crime with a crime.
With full rights and freedom, people of good character get to bask in that freedom and maintain their personal power. With law enforcement acting as Orwellian authority instead of public servant, and taking aside whomever they please, the dream is a nightmare with cartels run amok who have all the power.
See the “Campaign to Stop Police Carding Now” at StopPoliceCarding.com. I highly recommend this editorial which explains how the problem grew out of control and also shows how Canadians are getting just as sick of these practices as we are.
Children are subject to carding too – to the point where they need their own legal defense!
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