When exist overwhelming evidence of police racism as well ethnic discrimination is considered incomprehensible and unheard that Mr. Mike McCormack, president of the Toronto Police Association he wants to deny. Or when in the last forty years the public is witnessing beatings and killings committed by the police in public places, or victims of police brutality have collected undeniable proofs of the most heinous crimes committed by racists police officers "MR. Mike McCormack cannot absolve to their members of the police force." Today more than ever the police racism, violence, abduction of children, torture of children, mothers, detainees, and extrajudicial executions to persons of color is present in the police rows and have to be denounced. Also putrid Judges from the “Canadian Justice System;” are helping to remain unpunished the crimes committed by police!Opinion / Commentary
Baseless accusations of police racism harm Toronto
The assumption that police shootings are motivated by systemic racism, to the exclusion of any other possibility, is inaccurate and inflammatory.
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The postulation, based on statistical disparities, that an entire police service is racist is false, inflammatory and counterproductive to meaningful debate, writes Mike McCormack.
By: Mike McCormack Published on Mon Jul 20 2015
Over the past few years, the Toronto Police Service has been the subject of accusations of racial profiling and biased policing. Most recently, on the anniversary of the Danzig shooting, an article on this page by journalist Desmond Cole stereotyped Toronto Police Service officers as anti-black racists.
While I respect the right of any individual or group to express their opinions, the assumption that police-involved shootings are motivated by systemic racism, to the exclusion of any other possibility, is inaccurate and inflammatory.
When a police officer responds to an incident that threatens serious bodily harm or death, it is the individual’s behaviour that forms the police response, regardless of whether a person’s skin colour is black, brown or white.
Today, all Toronto police officers receive extensive training on dealing with persons with mental health issues including de-escalation techniques. However, there is no single tool or technique that will resolve every situation. Regardless of the individual’s ethnicity, for each incident that ends with an unfavourable outcome, there are thousands of other incidents that conclude peacefully. In 2014, the number of use-of-force incidents was the lowest in five years. Relative to arrests made, force was required in only 3 per cent of arrests, which included over 6,400 apprehensions under the Mental Health Act.
While a police-involved shooting in Toronto is a rare event (two firearm discharges involving armed persons in 2014) the association has advocated for the issuance of non-lethal use-of-force tools, including conducted energy weapons, to frontline officers.
Last year, our members had more than 2 million documented interactions with the public, including over 20,000 contacts with persons suffering from mental illness. Contacts include emergency and non-emergency calls, traffic stops and enforcement contacts.
The total number of documented contacts generating a filed public complaint was less than 0.1 per cent, meaning that roughly 99.9 per cent of all contacts were not contentious. Some will say that many people can’t be bothered to complain, however an additional 20,000 complainants would need to come forward to reach a 1-per-cent complaint rate.
Some have misrepresented police data to support their irresponsible accusations of racial discrimination. The use of census-based data to identify biased-policing, in the absence of other variables, is outright wrong. Their findings are not proof of a culture of biased policing. Assessing for bias is complicated. While the data may show some disparity, it is not sufficient to substantiate these allegations. This position is supported by the opinions of respected academics.
These unsubstantiated allegations of racial discrimination are an attempt to stir public emotion and to justify knee-jerk policy changes to police practices. What is ignored is the fact that crime is not equally distributed throughout the city. The majority of gun violence and other serious criminal activity occurs in neighborhoods faced with socio-economic challenges. Despite declining overall crime rates, shooting incidents in Toronto have increased by 48 per cent compared to last year and the number of victims killed or injured is up by 66 per cent.
Police officers working in these communities know that race does not generate crime and disorder in these neighbourhoods. What does have an impact are socio-economic factors such as poverty, unaffordable housing, lack of child-care, access to post-secondary education, unemployment and homelessness.
Quality-of-life problems that accompany crime and disorder are multi-dimensional, societal problems requiring a multi-dimensional response. Police effectiveness depends on police legitimacy and we will continue to do our part to build mutual trust and respect.
The association does not condone any police practice that targets citizens on the basis of their skin colour, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, race or religion. Bias-free policing has always been our practice and our members are expressly prohibited from engaging in bias-based policing activities.
That said, the police are not perfect and our service has undergone significant transformation. While many American police services have had police reform imposed upon them, we have been ahead of the curve by addressing the issue of bias through mandatory and non-mandatory training standards, policies and procedures, diversity hiring and community-based policing initiatives that are the envy of police services worldwide.
As a forward-thinking police association, we do not shy away from constructive criticism provided it is fair, balanced, and evidence-based. Unfounded allegations of discrimination based on statistical disparities and the postulation that an entire police service is racist, however, are false, inflammatory and counterproductive to meaningful debate.
This type of irresponsible rhetoric simply undermines the good community relations our members have worked to establish and thus harms all Torontonians.
Mike McCormack is president of the Toronto Police Associatio
BASELESS...BASELESS ACCUSATIONS MR. McCORMACK????????????????????????