Groups want probe into Vancouver police carding

B.C.’s police complaints commissioner asked to investigate allegations of racial profiling

Indigenous and civil rights groups have asked B.C.’s police complaints commissioner to investigate a significant racial disparity in the Vancouver Police Department’s use of street checks.

The Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association say Indigenous and black people are over-represented in the police practice, often referred to as carding.

During the checks, police stop a person, obtain their identification and record personal information.

READ MORE: Toronto police won’t march in Pride parade, force’s chief says

The complaint is based on a release of data under a Freedom of Information request that shows 15 per cent of all carding conducted between 2008 and 2017 was of Indigenous people, yet they make up just two per cent of the population.

The police data also says four per cent of those carded were black, despite the population in Vancouver making up less than one per cent.

Chief Bob Chamberlin, with the B.C. Union of Indian Chiefs, says the disproportionate rate that Indigenous people are checked is “staggering.”

VPD Chief Adam Palmer released a statement Thursday afternoon, saying context is needed.

“A street check occurs when a police officer encounters someone believed to be involved in criminal activity or a suspicious circumstance, and documents the interaction. They are not random or arbitrary checks,” Palmer said.

“The VPD’s street checks are not based on ethnicity. … The VPD does not control where crime falls along racial and gender lines.”

He said the department will review the complaint and provide a response in the coming weeks.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Surrey man mourns the loss of classmate killed in New Zealand mosque attack

When he heard news of the attack, he sent a message to his friend

Surrey RCMP search for missing woman

Deborah-Lynn Hurshman was last seen on the 13600-block of 102 Avenue on March 12.

Vehicle plows through White Rock business

Incident happened at Kidazzles (1253 Johnston Rd.)

White Rock Muslim Association: ‘we pray for those who departed’

Former president Asad Syed says Muslim community praying for victims

REPLAY: The best videos from across B.C. this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week in the province

Trudeau fills vacancy in cabinet with B.C. MP Joyce Murray

Murray, 64, was elected in 2008 and served previously as a minister in B.C.’s provincial government

Leivo nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Stars 3-2

Schaller scores first 2 goals of season for Vancouver

UBC study shows honey bees can help monitor pollution in cities

Scientists analyzed beehives in high density urban areas to those off on Galiano Island

Ethiopia minister: ‘Clear similarities’ in Boeing crashes

Both the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder were sent to Paris for analysis

Most Read