“’Driving While Black’: A Phenomenon All Too Frequent and Familiar”

On February 27, 2018, Julian Falconer was interviewed on The Morning Show, with Mike Stafford and Supriya Dwivedi on the issue of racial profiling.
In the segment entitled, “Ien: Driving While Black in Canada,” Julian commented on popular, award-winning CTV broadcast journalist, Ms. Marci Ien’s recent account of her experience with the phenomenon known as ‘driving while Black’. Ien, who is African Canadian, recently took to the Globe & Mail to share her thoughts, feelings and proposed solutions for addressing this form of anti-Black racism. She wrote her account after being repeatedly stopped, questioned and in the latest instance, followed by a police officer right into her own driveway.
When asked about his thoughts on Ien’s experience, specifically, regarding when Ien was asked if she lived at her residence after providing her drivers license, Julian stated, that is a classic hallmark of something else going on … and  potentially in the officers mind it being out of wack this person of color is in an affluent or well to do area etc.”
To listen to the full interview click here.

Further Context:

  1. February 21, 2018: Toronto Star reports on Justice Tulloch’s review of new regulations on carding, also known as street checks — the stopping and documenting of citizens not suspected of a crime, a practice that disproportionately impacts racialized groups.
  2. November 30, 2017Ontario Human Rights Commission announced that it is launching a public interest inquiry into racial profiling and discrimination against Black civilians by the Toronto Police Service.
    1. Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) announced that it has launched a public interest inquiry into racial profiling and racial discrimination by the Toronto Police Service (TPS).
    2. 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.
    3. 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 the Black community, including in the areas of:
                                                               i.      Stop and questioning practices
                                                             ii.      Use of force
                                                           iii.      Arrests and charges, and forms and conditions of release for various offence categories, including: simple drug possession obstructing or assaulting a police officer causing a disturbance failing to comply with a bail condition (see Terms of Reference for complete list).
  1. April 2017: OHRC releases report, “UNDER SUSPICION: Research and consultation report  on racial pro fi ling in Ontario”. The report combines social science research with lived experiences gained through consultation with over 1,600 individuals and organizations across Ontario.
    1. Under suspicion highlights how racial profiling is often the result of seemingly neutral organizational policies, procedures and decision-making practices, and deeply rooted institutional cultures. The report found that racial profiling – can have a negative effect on people’s mental and physical health. Racial profiling can be all-encompassing and affect nearly every aspect of a racialized person’s public life – from shopping, to driving and getting around, to attending school.
    1. “This report confirms what racialized communities have known for generations: racial profiling is real,” said OHRC Chief Commissioner Renu Mandhane. “Rebuilding trust requires concrete action to address racial profiling in all its forms.”

In the News

Driving While Black in Canada   Global News 640, The Morning Show, February 27, 2018

The double standard of driving while black – in Canada   The Globe and Mail, February 26, 2018

Under Suspicion: Research and Consultation Report on Racial Profiling in Ontario 2017

OHRC launches public interest inquiry into racial profiling and racial discrimination by the Toronto Police Service   Ontario Human Rights Commission, November 30, 2017

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