Demand racial data on police involved deaths in Canada
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Statistics Canada only reports police involved deaths when the officer responsible has been charged. Unfortunately, it is rare that victims of police brutality get the justice they deserve. Many officers never do get charged. This results in a gross lack of information, data, and transparency on police violence in Canada. This especially affects Canadian people of colour, who are disproportionally murdered by police, but as a result of the lack of proper data, do not get awareness. Awareness is essential for change and for justice.
As Canadians, we frequently hear about the United States, and their failures to hold the police responsible for their actions. We hear about the countless lives lost at the hands of police, and we see the anger that this provokes. We tend to forget that this is not solely an American issue. The difference? American police officers have body cams to prove when an officer had overstepped. Canada does not require police officers to have body cams, because there is not enough evidence to support the need. There is not enough evidence, because Canada does not document it.
In Canada, we don’t even know how bad things are, and this needs to change. Starting with the documentation of police involved deaths by race. This will give us transparency and much needed data that can support further change.
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