Toronto

Police street checks focus of heated Brampton meeting

A meeting in Brampton on Tuesday evening put the spotlight on the issues of racism, part of province-wide consultations on police street checks, commonly called carding.
Provincial consultations on police carding are being held in several locations in Ontario this summer including Tuesday evening's meeting in Brampton. (CBC)

A meeting in Brampton on Tuesday evening put the spotlight on the issues of racism and policing, part of province-wide consultations on police street checks, commonly called carding. 

Yasir Naqvi, Ontario's Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, met with local residents who voiced their frustrations and pushed for changes.

Some doubted anything would change.

"This is just something on the outside, on the skin, to show we're doing something about it," said Shav Granville who, being black, says he represents those most often stopped during police checks.

"Nothing's really going to happen," he said.

Ongoing meetings across Ontario

The Brampton meeting with Naqvi was the second of five public meetings being held across the province this summer.

Critics say the police checks disproportionately target minorities. But, Brampton police say street checks are a valuable tool.

"They do not target any particular racial group and they do not marginalize anyone," said Peel Regional Police Deputy Police Chief Christopher McCord.

Patti Ann Trainor said she has three black children and one of them, her 23-year-old daughter, was recently stopped by police for 40 minutes.

"She was devastated and she's a leader for our society. I don't want it to be like that for my grandchildren," Trainor said.

Toronto meeting on Sept. 1

Brampton NDP MPP Jagmeet Singh also called Tuesday's meeting meaningless.

"They could have used this as an opportunity to stop carding to stop racial profiling, to stop a practice that is hurting people," Singh said.

The province is holding public consultations in Thunder Bay and London next before coming to Toronto on Sept. 1.

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