What’s a reasonable expectation of our police?

Plus, manufacturing outrage over the Regis Korchinski-Paquet death and pandemic gives cops free rein in Letters To The Editor



Expecting too much from our police

Re Police Chief Feeling The Heat Over Regis Korchinski-Paquet Death (NOW Online, June 5).

I think we need to step back and define what is a reasonable expectation of our police force. Does our expectation jibe with the reasons people choose to become members of the police force?

If the police union is contributing to protecting the lower elements in the police force, how do we stop that? Bad behaviour becomes contagious.

Winnie McDonagh

From nowtoronto.com

Toronto’s policing double-standard

Re: Death Of Regis Korchinski-Paquet Exposes Decades-Long Failure Of Policing Reform (NOW, June 4-10)

Funny how police alone are authorized by the state to use force, even lethal force. But when they use that force and someone ends up dead, suddenly they’re private citizens who don’t have to account for their actions, even by turning over their notes.

Eric Mills

From nowtoronto.com

Manufactured outrage on Regis Korchinski-Paquet

Yes, it was a breach of policy, albeit a much-maligned policy, that police leaked details of the Regis Korchinski-Paquet death to the Sun while the case is being investigated by the SIU (NOW Online, June 3) It shouldn’t have happened.

But the outrage from family lawyer Knia Singh seems manufactured. His insistence that it’s not a transparent process unless he gets to cross-examine the cops, is pretty ignorant. It’s not a court case. He has no right to any involvement in the investigation at this time.

Steven Weinberg

From nowtoronto.com

Pandemic gives police free rein

The city has given police free rein to deal with marginalized populations during the pandemic (NOW Online, June 2), which usually means blatantly disregarding any rights of people of colour or who are homeless or mentally challenged. For this, the middle class and upper white classes see the police as their protectors from the unwashed masses. 

Jose Paredes

From nowtoronto.com

Comments (1)

  • Weitang Fan August 16, 2020 02:30 PM

    OHRC Report Disproves Systemic Racism/ White Privilege and Police Bias

    The OHRC recently released more reports that disprove systemic racism/ “White privilege”, and Police bias. The data over these reports indicate that race is not a factor in how Police charge people and demonstrate that “racialized minorities” are treated more favourably than Whites. The statistics also indicate that there is no evidence of Police bias when it comes to Police shootings.

    A Disparate Impact : Racialized Advantage

    This report looked at set of nine criminal charges. Interestingly, the subjects were divided into three groups: White, Black and “other racial minority” despite the data actually reflecting six racial groups: White, Black, Asian, Aboriginal, Brown, Unknown.

    As per the report, Whites constitute 48% of the population and represent 45.5% of all criminal charges. This would be objectively seen as neutral: neither advantageous nor disadvantageous. The “other racial minority” group represents 42.8% of the population and 22.2% of total charges. This shows that racialized people are significantly less likely than Whites to be charged criminally.

    Furthermore, the data indicates zero evidence of systemic racism against “other racialized minorities” and are neutral to Whites as opposed to any “privilege”. This lack of privilege was demonstrated in every data sample ( 9 ) presented in the report and finds that 92% of the population, 5/6 racial groups applied), are either treated favourably or neutrally. Objectively, one would interpret this to indicate that race is not a factor in Police behaviour and this statistic answers any questions of systemic racism.

    No Bias in Shootings: Zero Unarmed Deaths

    The OHRC’s “Use of Force” report states that between 2013 to 2017, the Toronto Police Services have killed zero, unarmed Black people. There were nine shootings and seven deaths over this period involving Black people. Eight of the nine people shot were armed and the lone, unarmed person was not shot fatally. This is as per the data from Tables 19 and 26.

    Page 63 of the report writes: “ Few racial differences emerge with respect to civilian behaviour.” This is consistent with the other conclusions from the above mentioned report that race is not a factor in Police behaviour and, in fact, racialized people have an advantage over Whites. Research indicates that the leading factors in police shootings are: armed/unarmed, mental health, intoxication, and threatening Police/resistance.

    Between 2000 to 2006, 1/13 shootings involed an unarmed Black person. The other 12 were armed.

    The data shows a consistent theme- the Police shoot armed people and do not shoot unarmed people, regardless of race.

    See the report’s chart below:

    The CBC’s database for “deadly force” reports that from the year 2000 to June of 2020, there have been three unarmed Blacks killed while in the custody of the Toronto Police. All three reportedly were resisting arrest and one of three additionally had mental health issues. Of the three deaths of unarmed Blacks over the past 20 years, only one involved a gun and it was determined to be an “accidental shooting” during the victim’s resistance.

    https://newsinteractives.cbc.ca/longform-custom/deadly-force#:~:text=First%20of%20its%20kind%20database,police%2Dinvolved%20fatalities%20since%202000.&text=Of%20the%20461%20cases%20involving,were%20laid%20against%20an%20officer.

    Conclusion

    The OHRC reports indicate that being racialized is an advantage over being White in dealings with the TPS. They also report that the Toronto Police do not statistically shoot unarmed people of any race. The leading factors in being shot are being armed/unarmed, being intoxicated or not, resisting or cooperating, and mental health issues. In removing these variables from the equation, it is a statistical improbability that anyone, of any race, will be shot by the Toronto Police or any Police in Canada. Over the period of this report one will find that unarmed, Blacks are not at risk of death by the Toronto Police.

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