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

Vernon fireworks show adds special events

Flyover and group skydive part of the pre-fireworks Canada Day events

Storm wipes out North Okanagan power

Lumby, Vernon, Armstrong, Spallumcheen and Enderby all dealing with outages from overnight storm

VSAR helicopter rescues woman

Woman in medical distress airlifted from mountainous terrain near Coldstream Sunday

Restaurant renovations complete at Kelowna airport

The kitchen of the White Spot restaurant at YLW has been upgraded

Vernon Diwali Festival seeks performers

Inaugural festival slated for Oct. 9-13

North Okanagan Gleaners responds in Guatemala relief effort

Over 40 volunteers spent Saturday at Gleaners to aid in humanitarian relief efforts for Guatemala.

Tree rips through West Kelowna home like javelin

“I was like, ‘oh my God—there is a tree in my dining room,’” says West Kelowna woman affected by storm.

Standoff in Kamloops ends peacefully

Kamloops Mounties negotiated with a distraught man to leave his home

Rainbow crosswalk in B.C. defaced 10 days after installation

Surrey’s first rainbow crosswalk has been defaced sometime over the weekend

Closing arguments expected in trial for twice convicted Canadian killer

Crown, defence expected to give closing arguments in Millard murder trial

Pigs crash yoga class in B.C.

First it was goats, now it’s pigs — you can get downward dog with the whole farm in Aldergrove

Canadians undertake the world’s most dangerous peacekeeping mission

A dozen Canadian peacekeepers arrive in Mali as yearlong mission begins

U.S. justices won’t hear case of anti-gay marriage florist

The case is regarding whether business owners can refuse on religious grounds to comply with anti-discrimination laws

Kangaroo stops play during Australian soccer match

The women’s game stopped play for more than 30 minutes on Monday due to the kangaroo

Most Read