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

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Air quality advisory continues in the Lower Mainland

Smoke from Interior fires brings fine particulate

Eagle tree cut down in South Surrey for ‘The Eagles’ development

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

TONIGHT: Grand finale of Concerts at the Pier

East Beach event set to begin at 7 p.m.

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

B.C. man designer behind Canucks’ retro jersey

Jeremie White was 20 years old when he told Canucks assistant GM Brian Burke he had a design

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Most Read