Unpacking discriminatory street checks in BC

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Unpacking discriminatory street checks in BC

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Dear friends and supporters,

For years, we have heard reports from racialized communities in BC that they are over policed and under protected.

These experiences of over-policing have now been echoed with the release of decade-long data that starkly show the significant over-representation of Indigenous and Black people in the rates of street checks conducted by the Vancouver Police Department.

In collaboration with the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, the BCCLA filed a complaint in mid-June against the VPD calling for an immediate investigation into the racial disparity in "street check" practices.

Read our latest blog unpacking the racial disparity in street checks in BC.

Read more here.

In the last 10 years alone, 15% of all street checks were of Indigenous people, despite them making up approximately 2% of Vancouver's population. In addition, approximately 4% of all street checks were of Black people, despite making up less than 1% of the city's population.

In response, members of Indigenous and Black communities have spoken out against the discriminatory practice. Elaine Durocher, a Métis grandmother and board member of Downtown Eastside Women’s Center, explained:

“As Indigenous people and people of colour living in poverty, we are routinely stopped by the police on every block – from our home, to the food lineup, to our volunteer work – for no reason other than to question and intimidate us."

We know from listening to lived experiences like Elaine's that racialized communities experience a disproportionate number of encounters with police. Now, we have the data to back it up.

Learn more about discrimination in street checks here.

That's why we're calling on the Province to develop policies that will ensure an end to policing practices that disproportionately impact racialized communities.

The time has come for concrete action and change to end discrimination in policing.

Sincerely,

Dylan Mazur
Community Lawyer.

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