Author Topic: White World Supremacy Starring In...."Toronto Canada"  (Read 68 times)

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White World Supremacy Starring In...."Toronto Canada"
« on: April 18, 2003, 05:05:12 PM »
Court rules on racial profiling
Finds 'significant' evidence it exists


TRACEY TYLER
LEGAL AFFAIRS REPORTER

Ontario's highest court has recognized the existence of racial profiling, saying there is "significant" evidence it happens and it was potentially behind a police officer's decision to pull over then Toronto Raptors basketball player Decovan (Dee) Brown.

In a 3-0 ruling yesterday, the Ontario Court of Appeal became the first appellate court in Canada to tackle the explosive subject head-on, acknowledging that some police do target racial minorities out of a belief they are more likely to commit crimes.

The court also laid down rules for determining whether racial profiling — either consciously or subconsciously — is at work in a case.

And it made it clear that judges are expected to treat such allegations fairly.
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation says the decision sets the stage for discussions on how "to end racial profiling and racial discrimination altogether."

"This is a message loud and clear from the province's highest court that racial profiling can not be discounted as a factor in police practices," foundation chairman Patrick Case said in a release today.

"It is now time to move beyond the debate of whether racial profiling exists and speak frankly of real and constructive solutions to be implemented."

"This is a powerful incentive for us to come together as members of the community and determine ways in which accountability in the police force can be strengthened," said Case.



Legal experts are calling the decision a key moment in "the search for the truth" about the practice.

"The fact that racial profiling by police officers exists is now the law of the land in the province of Ontario," said Julian Falconer, a lawyer for the Urban Alliance on Race Relations, which intervened in the case.

"While the Court of Appeal is not saying every Toronto police officer is guilty of racial profiling, the court has taken judicial notice of the fact that the phenomenon of racial profiling by police exists," he said yesterday. "This case is an important watershed in the search for the truth about racial profiling by police."

Last night, Craig Bromell, head of the Toronto Police Association, said he plans to go to members with a "no-contact, no-complaint" policy, which would mean that any officer who feels they could be the subject of racial-profiling allegations will not follow up on an investigation.

"This is very serious," he said. "If this is the system people want, then this is the system people will get."

The court was ruling in a crown appeal of a lower-court decision that set aside Brown's conviction for driving on the Don Valley Parkway on Nov. 1, 1999, with more than the legal limit of alcohol in his blood.

Mr. Justice Brian Trafford of the Superior Court of Justice set the conviction aside in January, 2002, because he found the conduct of the trial judge, Mr. Justice David Fairgrieve, would leave a reasonable person with the impression he had closed his mind to Brown's contention that he was pulled over simply for being a black man driving an expensive car — in his case a new Ford Expedition.

Brown's trial lawyer, Steven Skurka, argued the arresting officer was not being truthful about the real reason for stopping Brown. Among other things, the officer ran a licence-plate check on Brown's car to see if it was stolen before pulling him over and prepared a second set of notes, suggesting he was firming up his reasons for justifying the stop, Skurka said.

But Fairgrieve repeatedly admonished Skurka for alleging that racial profiling was at play, calling the notion that police would target a person of colour distasteful, offensive, nasty, troubling and potentially malicious. In convicting and fining Brown $2,000, the judge also suggested he apologize to the arresting officer.

Yesterday, Brown, now director of player development for the National Basketball Association's Orlando Magic, said he doesn't believe he was treated fairly during the trial but is glad the Canadian justice system has recognized his concerns.

"We're not judging the entire Toronto police force, but these incidents happen in Canada and people better wake up and realize it soon," he said.

When the appeal was heard in January, crown counsel James Stewart argued there was no evidence to support the contention that Brown's arrest was the result of racial profiling, but he did concede that the phenomenon exists — pointing to the province's 1995 report of the Commission on Systemic Racism in the Ontario Criminal Justice System as proof.