McMaster: Fire Racist Ex-chief of Police Glenn De Caire and Dissolve Campus Police NOW!

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CN: anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism, police violence and surveilling

We call upon the Office of the President and the Board of Governors of McMaster University to immediately fire Glenn De Caire from the position of Head of Parking and Security and completely dissolve the special constables unit. Here's why:

De Caire is an ardent supporter of the racist practice of carding, where officers stop, question, and document people; namely, Black and Indigenous people who are well-known to be disproportionately represented within law enforcement databases. Despite making up 15% of the population of Hamilton, they are three times more likely than white people to be carded. 

In 2015, De Caire forwarded an email to his officers which stated, regarding carding, that it was “time for these black kids to stop blaming the police." This is a gross violation of peoples' human rights, as Ruth Goba from the Ontario Human Rights Commission wrote in a letter criticizing the former Toronto Police Chief’s defence of carding. Goba cited it as a “textbook example of racial profiling” and an “unjustifiable” use of force. 

There are first-hand accounts of students feeling bullied and alienated by campus police, unable to escalate their concerns against their discriminatory practices due to the knowledge that they will likely not be believed and instead, further surveilled.

De Caire is also the creator of the ACTION police teams. ACTION officers are the most frequent users of carding. ACTION teams are bike or foot police that patrol neighbourhoods, mostly downtown. ACTION are the shock-troops of gentrification, pushing poor, working-class, disabled, and often racialized people out of the downtown core. In June 2015, seven members of ACTION were arrested and five were charged for giving false tickets.

Despite the province of Ontario cutting funding for the disgraced ACTION initiative, De Caire had promised to maintain funding for the program. When Ontario relaxed regulations on the use of tasers, Hamilton, under De Caire’s leadership, was one of the first and most enthusiastic police forces to begin using tasers.

De Caire was police chief when a former steelworker, Steve Mesic, was killed by police in June 2013. While the police were cleared of any wrongdoing, an inquiry into Mesic’s death produced 10 recommendations intended to curb police shootings.

De Caire is an unabashed racist. He is an enemy of all working-class, poor, disabled, and racialized students–particularly Black and Indigenous students who are indiscriminately surveilled and targetted by campus police. 

Glenn De Caire and campus police do not make McMaster "safer." The actual safety of McMaster's racialized members has proven to be, time and time again, unimportant to McMaster.

How can McMaster be committed to creating a so-called Brighter World that touts equitability amongst a diverse student body while simultaneously putting the mental and physical safety of those same Black and Indigenous students on campus at risk?