Toronto man launches court challenge against police carding

A Toronto man who claims he has been repeatedly carded by Toronto Police due to his race launched a court challenge against the practice today.

Knia Singh claims he's been repeatedly carded for no reason by Toronto police

A Toronto man who claims he has been repeatedly carded by Toronto Police due to his race launched a court challenge against the practice today. 

Knia Singh claims that carding, and the retention of personal information through carding is illegal as it is a breach of people's rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Specifically, he says the practice breaches the following rights:

  • to be free from arbitrary detention.
  • to be free from unreasonable seizure.
  • to equality without discrimination.

Vilko Zbogar, a lawyer for the Osgoode Hall law student, sent the Notice of Application to stop carding to Alok Mukherjee, chair of the Toronto Police Services Board, police chief Mark Saunders, and Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur.

In the 17-page document, Singh's lawyer says his client "has been stopped by the police on numerous occasions even though he was doing nothing wrong on those occasions. These stops have occurred both while the applicant was in a vehicle (either as a driver or a passenger) or on foot."

The application goes on to say that Singh is "a proud Canadian citizen but the actions of Toronto Police officers in targeting him for the purposes of documenting him, due to his race, is an affront to his dignity and makes him feel like a second-class citizen.

"Being carded, repeatedly, dehumanizes him, undermines his freedom and places him at increased risk of police violence."

Last Sunday, Mayor John Tory called for an end of carding, which he said has "eroded the public trust." 

"It is my intention to see carding cancelled permanently and that we start fresh," Tory said.