A black person in Toronto is almost 20 times more likely than a white person to be shot and killed by the police, according to a new report from the Ontario Human Rights Commission on race and police.
The Commission's interim report said that black people were overrepresented in several forms of violent police interactions, including force-force cases, shootings, deadly meetings and deadly lapters.
"[The report] confirms the long-term concern for black communities that they are overrepresented in case of serious injury or deadly force involving TPS, "according to the report released Monday.
"Our preliminary results are disturbing and require immediate action," added Renu Mandhane, OHRC's top commissioner.
The report entitled "A Collective Impact" analyzed two data periods from the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) between 2000 and 2006 and 2013 and 2017. The analysis was conducted by Professor Scott Wortley, a criminologist at the University of Toronto.
SIU is Ontario's police investigating police interactions involving serious injury, death or allegations of sexual assault.
Serious incidents a concern
Despite the fact that black people account for 8.8 percent of Toronto's population, the OHRC found that they were "grossly overrepresented" in SIU investigations.
The report also concluded that black people were more likely to be involved as the severity of the incident rose.
Of the 244 cases analyzed from 2013 to 2017, black people represented:
- 25.4 percent of SIU studies.
- 28.2 percent of police demand-intensive cases.
- 36 percent of police shootings.
- 61.5 percent of police's needy cases result in civilian death.
- 70 percent of police shootings result in civil death.
The OHRC report also showed that more white people transported weapons in police use of forced labor and that white people apparently threatened or attacked the police more often than black people. At police shooting, 20 percent of white people performed a gun at 11.1 percent. Of black civilians.
Members of Toronto Black Society say the results validate what they have known for decades.
"It's actually no new times," said Sam Tecle, who works for a youth program in Toronto's Jane and Finch neighborhood.
He said that young black people repeatedly tell him that they deliberately try to avoid the police for fear of being targeted.
"Do I want to talk to the police today? Will I be harassed, hassled, questioning?" Tecle said about their concerns. "These stories are everyday, they are common."
The final version of the report is expected to contain comprehensive internal data from the Toronto police, including lower usage disturbances and cases of mapping. The OHRC expects to release these results by 2020.
"It is clear that we have established that these gross inequalities and disproportionalities exist. The next step in the analysis should try to explore the different explanations for these racial discrimination," says Wortley. "I do not think we can ignore these differences and sweep them under the table."
The police accepts recommendations, raises concerns about the report
In a joint response to the report, the Toronto Police and the Toronto Police Services Board said that no organization is "immune from obvious and implicit confusion" and that the force is actively working to resolve these issues.
The service indirectly also raised concerns about the legitimacy of the results.
"Some may raise questions about the approach, methodology and statistical basis for this report, and it is important that all these issues are investigated to ensure the fullest and most accurate analysis and accounting," the opinion states.
The police did not underline what these questions could be. The statement continued to say that the police will commit themselves to "do even better" when it comes to reducing bias.
"We have been working for several years to meet these challenges in many different ways and with different partners. In fact, our continued work will be shaped and informed by a large number of steps already underway and underway," the report says.
OHRC wants race-based data
OHRC urges the Toronto police to recognize the racial discrimination and community experiences described in its report. The Commission also wants the Toronto Police Board to require officials to collect and publish reports on race-based data.
The Toronto police said they would accept the recommendations but added the collection of race-based data, requiring further investigation of its antiracism advisory panel.
"This work will consider the legitimate concerns about the impact of race-based data collection on interactions between the police and the members of the Toronto community and look at collecting this data in a way that will strengthen our connection with the communities we earn "the statement read.