TORONTO – New statistics released by Toronto police show that black people faced a disproportionate amount of police enforcement and use of force in 2020 and were more likely to have an officer point a gun on them – whether perceived as armed or unarmed – than whites in the same situation.
People from the Middle East were also overrepresented in the application and use of force, while other groups – such as Latinos and East and Southeast Asian residents – experienced less enforcement compared to their representation in the population, but saw more use of force when they did. interact with the police.
According to the data, Indigenous peoples faced more law enforcement, but proportionally somewhat less use of force in these interactions.
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White people faced proportionally less law enforcement and less use of force.
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Statistics also show that racial differences in the use of force persist even after taking into account what the police were initially called to investigate and what the primary offense was.
Indigenous, black and white people were also strip searched disproportionately to the number of them who were arrested.
Toronto police will collect and release race-based data under new policy
The provincial government began collecting race-based data related to the use of force from police departments in 2020, three years after passing legislation requiring several public sectors to collect data on race.
In the fall of 2019, the Toronto Police Services Board approved a race-based data policy that would begin with the use of force and then expand to other policing processes such as stops, searches , interrogations and the laying of charges.
At the time, the council said the data would not be used to identify specific officers or manage their performance, but to “identify trends that contribute to professional development and organizational change”.
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