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Montreal police to announce street checks policy after systemic bias report

Last Updated Jul 8, 2020 at 4:08 am EDT

A Montreal Police badge is shown during a news conference in Montreal, Monday, October 7, 2019. Montreal police will unveil its new street checks policy today, months after a damning independent report last year found evidence of systemic bias linked to race is present in who they decide to stop. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Montreal police are to announce a new policy on street checks today, months after a damning independent report found evidence of systemic bias linked to race in who they decide to stop.

Last October, Police chief Sylvain Caron said he was humbled and alarmed by the numbers but stressed that it was a reflection of a lack of policy.

The authors crunched three years worth of police data to come up with their conclusions, which they stopped short of conclusively describing as racial profiling.

Street checks involve officers stopping a person and recording their information regardless of whether an offence has been committed.

The report last fall suggested that people from certain racialized groups were much more likely than others to be stopped by police.

It found that Indigenous women were 11 times more likely to be questioned than their white counterparts; that Black and Indigenous Montrealers were between four and five times more likely to be subjected to stops while those of Arab descent were twice as likely to be stopped.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 8, 2020.

The Canadian Press