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

More burning prohibitions rescinded in southeast B.C.

Category 2 and 3 fires will be permitted in Southeast Fire Centre as of 1p.m. on Wednesday.

B.C. parents leery of HPV cervical cancer vaccine

Provincial registration uptake among lowest in Canada

Municipal spending outpaces population growth 4-fold in B.C.: report

Canadian Federation of Independent Business has released its annual operational spending report

Winlaw preemie survives smoky birth

GoFundMe Campaign started for West Kootenay family with preemie baby.

Youth on the Loose: Centre takes trip to Whatshan Lake

The trip was organized by the Nakusp and Area Youth Network

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

B.C. man who left hospice to run in upcoming election dies

A week after leaving hospice to go to city hall to declare his candidacy, David Hesketh has died.

Most Read