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‘Racial Profiling’ in Toronto

February 6, 2012
tags: ,

The Toronto Star:

After years of controversy and much gnashing of teeth, the Toronto Police Service got the go-ahead to collect race-based criminal justice statistics in 2010. But they’re still not releasing them publicly to help people determine whether there is a racial bias in policing.

If such statistics are released, they will probably show that blacks, who make up 8% of Toronto’s population, are responsible for about half the city’s crime. (That’s an educated guess; Skarphedin collected some data here.) This will be interpreted (certainly by the Star) as evidence of racial profiling. The police, who already feel pressure to avoid targeting blacks as much as possible, will be in an even tighter spot than before. They will be more hobbled in dealing with black crime. That’s why they don’t want to release this information.
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 20, 2012 3:56 pm

    I would further predict that a more in depth analysis of the data would show that while blacks are more likely to be prosecuted for violent offenses, they are also less likely to be prosecuted for non-violent ‘optional’ offenses, where the arresting officer can choose to show leniency. Carrying open liquor, for instance.

    • February 20, 2012 4:06 pm

      I’ll bet you’re right. I remember reading something by an Ontario cop once where he admitted he was reticent to pull over black men for traffic violations. Unfortunately I forget where it was and I think it was anonymous anyway, so I can hardly verify it.

      I think there may be some research on this from the States. I’ll try to find it and do a post on it.

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