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Is there a link between carding and the recent spate of shootings in Toronto?

Last Updated Feb 1, 2016 at 6:58 pm EDT

Would reinstating carding help halt the recent spike in shootings across Toronto?

Toronto Police Association president Mike McCormack thinks so. McCormack boldly told CityNews on Sunday that he sees a direct correlation between a ban on carding and increased street violence.

“We had a broad public policy change around street checks and I believe that that is having an impact now on the amount of violence and people carrying firearms,” he said.

“Until we can get out there and figure out how we can get the intelligence that we need … I think (the violence) will continue.”

As of Jan. 25, shootings were up 100 per cent over the same period last year. According to police reports, there have been 38 shootings in Toronto so far this year, with 55 people shot.

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The bloodshed continued over the weekend, with two people shot and killed and three injured outside of a Chinatown restaurant early Sunday morning.

Knia Singh, a law student and community activist who launched a constitutional challenge against carding, called McCormack’s comments “disturbing, irresponsible and inaccurate.”

“He’s creating fear-mongering,” he said of the police union president. “You cannot focus on this one month and say there’s an epidemic taking place.”

“This small spike right now is a concern for public safety, but it’s not related to carding.”

Carding involves random and sometimes arbitrary stops of citizens. Statistics showing it disproportionately targeted minorities.

The Ontario ombudsman ruled that carding is “wrong and illegal,” saying it violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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