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SIU to begin collecting race-based data during investigations

Last Updated Aug 10, 2020 at 5:56 pm EDT

SIU headquarters

The province’s police watchdog says it will soon begin collecting race-based data as part of its investigations into police-involved incidents where death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault have occurred.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) says data will be collected from complainants in SIU cases on a voluntary basis. The information will also be collected in relation to the officers involved on a voluntary basis.

In a release, SIU director Joseph Martino stressed the importance of race-based data. He said the Ontario Human Rights Commission report that found Black people in Toronto are “disproportionately” arrested, charged and subjected to use of force by the city’s police force only serves to highlight the need for the collection of such information.

“The systematic collection, analysis and public reporting of this data will do much to help the public and police better understand policing and policing oversight issues, including issues relating to systemic anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism,” he said.

The SIU will begin collecting race-based data on October 1, as per the Anti-Racism Act.