Ford should bring back street checks
The new year was less than a week old sunday when bullets were blazing again in Toronto, in broad daylight, this time in an area popularly known as the Beaches, or the Beach.
it’s a miracle no innocent bystanders were wounded or killed.
Police haven’t specifically called this an example of gang violence and we’ll leave it to the courts to determine what happened.
But this brazen, daylight shooting, with bullets flying everywhere, was similar to an increasing number of incidents occurring on Toronto streets, as criminal gangs fight over turf and drugs.
one reason that’s happening is police are no longer doing street checks, where they stop and question people on the street and record the information they obtain.
This has emboldened gang members to increasingly carry guns around the city, because they no longer fear being stopped by police.
Police abandoned street checks after they were accused of racism for doing them improperly.
called carding — an improper street check — this occurred when police stopped and questioned people on the street randomly and arbitrarily, on the basis of race, or because officers had to fill a quota of cardings.
The result was the previous ontario liberal government introduced a regulation to ban carding that was so poorly written, police abandoned all street checks for fear of being accused of racism.
That included legitimate street checks, where officers had reasonable grounds to suspect the people they were stopping were involved in criminal activity.
as Justice michael Tulloch, assigned by the previous liberal government to examine carding and their regulation reported last week: “some police street checks were proper. The improper practice of random carding led to the regulation. The regulation led many police officers to not conduct any street checks, whether proper or not. The lack of any street checks at all might have encouraged some types of crime to increase.”
Tulloch said while random carding isn’t effective in crime fighting, properly done, street checks are.
What Premier doug Ford’s Progressive conservative government should do is clear.
it should draft a realistic, workable regulation permitting police to do proper street checks, which the previous government failed to do, with dire consequences for public safety.