In Canada, eh…

June 9, 2020

Blogger Desmond Cole
Remembering 27 Black, Indigenous, and racialized people killed by Canadian police

Canadians have always been sheltered from the impact of police killings of Black and Indigenous people by the frequency and often blatant events in the US, fully displayed on US and Canadian media.  But, truth be told, there should be no false pride and judgment of the US without acknowledging our own Canadian problem.  Desmond Cole, author (The Skin we’re in) and blogger, lists the incidents which have largely passed under the radar of public opinion in) Canada and are only now consciously surfacing.   Related article: Globe and Mail – Robert Fife  Indigenous chief says RCMP beat him up and manhandled his wife over expired licence plate   Related article: CBC News – Thomas Rohner   Nunavut leaders calling for systemic review of RCMP service in the territory – ‘Deaths are being caused by the same force … here to protect us. This is very troubling,’ MLA says   Related article: CBC News –  2 Alberta RCMP officers charged with criminal negligence in fatal 2018 shooting – Clayton Crawford, 31, shot dead at highway rest stop near Whitecourt on July 3, 2018  Related article: Globe and Mail Kristy Kirkup   Police officers need to be trained on de-escalation, screened for beliefs: Senator Murray Sinclair   Related article: Canada National Observer – Brandi Morin I wonder who will march with Indigenous Peoples?   Related article: Toronto Star – Brandi Morin   Canadians shocked by George Floyd’s death should face up to the Indigenous struggle here at home   Related article: CTV News – Alexandra Mae Jones  ‘In Canada, it’s racism with a smile’: Donovan Bailey reflects on racial inequality  Related article: CNN (US) –  Rob Picheta and Henrik Pettersson  American police shoot, kill and imprison more people than other developed countries. Here’s the data  Related article: CTV News – Jonathan Forani  ‘Defund the police’ movement gathers momentum in Canada

National Newswatch – Mike Blanchfield
Trudeau promises to push police body-cameras with premiers to aid ‘transparency’ 

The recent airing of grievances around police interaction with the public has returned the conversation to police body cameras. “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday he will push provincial premiers to equip police with body-worn cameras as a rapid, substantive solution to allegations of racism and brutality.”  The RCMP in 2016 rejected equipping their members because of cost and technical problems but enforceable policies around the use of the body camera is also problematic.  Dr. Teresa Tam adds a Public Health perspective on transparency.  The use of the body camera by prison guards is yet another dimension so far not addressed.  The federal government will have to negotiate with provincial and city governments in the case of provincial and municipal police.   Related article: CBC News – Catharine Tunney  RCMP agrees to outfit some Mounties with body cameras – RCMP officers in operational roles will be issued body cameras, says spokesperson   Related article: Hilltimes (Canada) – Peter Mazereeuw  Nearly 3,000 complaints filed against RCMP officers in 2018-19, up 13 per cent from year prior; excessive use of force most common complaint   Related article:  CTV News – Ryan Flannagan    Defence minister says joining military taught him ‘how intense racism can be’

Ottawa Citizen – Charlotte Wolfery
Trudeau government needs to act on results of inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls

“The final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). It contained 231 tangible “Calls for Justice,” 46 of which were Inuit-specific.”  So far, none of the recommendations have been implemented and there appears no clear plan to do so.  Further hurtful to those who participated in the inquiry is that there has been no contact with the community comprising the families of the missing women and girls.  The document looks for action on the four rights summarized in the final report: the right to culture, health, security and justice.   Final Report ( A series of five PDF sections)  Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

  CNN (US) – Scottie Andrew
This city disbanded its police department 7 years ago. Here’s what happened next

Camden, New Jersey, police were so corrupt the city officials concluded that the only resolution was to disband the force entirely.  They did and now are about the only possible US precedent for what Minneapolis wants to do.  “Now, seven years after the old department was booted (though around 100 officers were rehired), the city’s crime has dropped by close to half. Officers host outdoor parties for residents and knock on doors to introduce themselves. It’s a radically different Camden than it was even a decade ago.”  Previously cities or smaller municipalities have dissolved their police forces for expense or for incorporation into larger municipalities.  But the notion of doing it for the sake of a corrupt police culture is new.  “It starts from an officer’s first day: When a new recruit joins the force, they’re required to knock on the doors of homes in the neighborhood they’re assigned to patrol, he said. They introduce themselves and ask neighbors what needs improving…Training emphasizes de-escalation, he said, and the department’s use of force policy makes clear that deadly force is the last option.  Now, police host pop-up barbecues and pull up in Mister Softee trucks to get to know residents, Cappelli said. They host drive-in movie nights — recently, the movie of choice was “The Lion King” — along what used to be known as the city’s “Heroin Highway.”

MacLean’s – Sandy Hudson
Letters to America

In a clever idea, MacLean’s ask people active in the struggle top pen a letter to America on the current crisis.  Sandy Hudson, Desmond Cole, Andray Domise, Esi Edugyan, Lawrence Hill, Eternity Martis, Rinaldo Walcott, Ian Williams, all have something to say.  As in the case of the discrimination towards the Indigenous and Asian people of Canada, racism is perhaps more a problem of the white privileged people of Canada.