Indigenous women overrepresented in Vancouver police checks: rights advocates

B.C. Civil Liberties Association, Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs asked complaint commissioner to probe

Indigenous and civil rights activists seeking an investigation of the Vancouver Police Department’s use of random street checks want to amend their complaint based on new data showing Aboriginal women are checked more often than other groups.

In June, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs asked the province’s police complaint commissioner to investigate a significant racial disparity in the use of street checks.

During the checks, also called carding, police stop a person, obtain their identification and record personal information, even though no particular offence has occurred.

The association says in a news release that recently obtained data show Indigenous women accounted for 21 per cent of all checks of women in 2016, despite only making up two per cent of Vancouver’s female population.

The data was supplied by the Vancouver Police Department following a Freedom of Information request and was received after the original complaint was sent to the complaint commissioner.

A further amendment asks the commissioner to examine police stops in which personal information is elicited but the stop is not recorded as a street check so it doesn’t show up in police department data.

The original complaint was based on data from a Freedom of Information request that shows 15 per cent of street checks conducted between 2008 and 2017 were of Indigenous people, yet they make up just two per cent of the population.

The news release says during that period, Indigenous men formed one per cent of the city’s population, yet accounted for about 12 per cent of total street checks, while three per cent of checks involved black men, although they form just half a per cent of Vancouver’s population.

When the complaint was filed in June, Chief Bob Chamberlin of the B.C. Union of Indian Chiefs said the disproportionate rate of checks on Indigenous people was “staggering,” and he is angered by the newest data disclosed by police.

“We will not accept this example of institutionalized racism and we demand an immediate independent investigation,” he says in the release.

“How can we speak about true reconciliation when Indigenous peoples, and particularly women, are being targeted by the police on a daily basis?”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Timeline offered for Lumby wastewater treatment project

Associated Environmental projects January 2019 completion

Small house fire extinguished by Vernon homeowner

Homeowner knocked down flames with hose before crews were on scene Tuesday morning

B.C. Wine Info Centre feeling the impact of striking casino workers

The casino isn’t the only Penticton business feeling the brunt of the strike action

UPDATE: Wildfire near Lake Country grows to seven hectares

The BC Wildfire Service is responding to a blaze near Dee Lake area, southwest of Coldstream.

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Duchess of Sussex wears dress by Calgary’s Nonie to Mandela exhibition

Nonie is believed to be the first Canadian based ready-to-wear designer for the duchess

Amazon’s hopes its Prime Day doesn’t go to the dogs

Shoppers clicking on many Prime Day links after the 3 p.m. ET launch in the U.S. got images of dogs

Alberta man drowns in Mara Lake near Sicamous

The 26-year-old man’s body was retrieved on July 16

Trudeau blasts Putin, Russia following Finland summit but stays mum on Trump

Strong words come one day after a controversial summit between Putin and Trump in Finland

Okanagan mixed martial arts athlete ready for battle

Xcessive Force Fighting Championship comes to the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre

Temperature records break across southern B.C. as heat continues

Whistler broke a 70-year-old record high of 32.2 C with a temperature of 32.9 C

Come dance between the lakes

Powwow Between the Lakes returns to Penticton Indian Band in August

Hawaii volcano boat tours continue after ‘lava bomb’ injuries

“An explosion occurred near the shoreline hurling hot lava rocks towards the boat and injuring several passengers.”

Most Read