'Systemic racism' in Waterloo Regional Police stops

'Systemic racism' in Waterloo Regional Police stops

Organisation: Waterloo Region Record (Canada)

Publication Date: 03/29/2017



Police face scrutiny over how often they stop people of colour. I asked Waterloo Regional Police to provide 10 years of electronic records on street checks, a procedure also called carding in which police stop and document someone not suspected of a crime. This required negotiation over several months as police repeatedly provided incomplete data sets before finally providing the full range of data. It turns out police had never analyzed their own data for racial bias. I was the first to crunch the numbers and so far the only one to make results public. Police have yet to release their own data analysis but have not disputed mine. I ended up with 62,350 police stops over a decade. I analyzed it and compared it to 2011 community demographics from the National Household Survey. This revealed that local police are four times more likely to stop you if you are black. They are not more likely to stop you if you are of any other race. Police provided unique identifiers for each individual and for each street check to enable me to track individuals over time without knowing their names.
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