Hamilton police say street checks not based on race

Hamilton police say new statistics released today show officers do not stop people for questioning based on race.This comes one month after a local anti-racism group called for an end to carding saying it disproportionately affects people of colour.“It is not ambiguous. 75-80% of the people who our officers interact with are white.” says Chief of Police Glenn De CaireNewly crunched data shows that between 2010 and 2014, most people stopped by police in hamilton were white.“This report doesn’t play out that we’re stopping people because of colour. That give me comfort.” says Llyod Ferguson of the Police service board.The report also shows police aren’t stopping people nearly as often. In 2011 there were almost 3000 street checks. In 2014, fewer than 200.“We’ve seen a decline in the numbers. That causes me concern. are we at a stage where our officers are inhibited from doing their core functions because of repercussions they feel may flow from it.”“I spoke about the tension. You’ve got the constitutional rights on one half, you’ve got the obligation of officers to go and ask questions that other people may not.” says Deputy Chief Eric Girt.Paralegal Prof Rochelle Dickenson agrees the balance is difficult. But her white friends don’t have to warn their children about being targeted because of skin colour.“My own husband, a grown man in a suit, has been pulled over, driving while black. It’s just a part of life, and it shouldn’t be. But it is so we have to prepare our children accordingly.”