Toronto mayor calls for end to police practice of 'carding'
The controversial police practice of "carding" is again making headlines in Toronto. Now, mayor John Tory is coming out against the practice and says he'll take it up with the police services board.The about-face from John Tory comes in a wake of an unprecedented display of unity against carding from more than 30 current and former politicians and community leaders.
They included three former former mayors and former Ontario chief justice and attorney general Roy McMurtry.
"At this stage, it should simply be abandoned. The new chief of police has undoubtedly inherited a major controversy and I hope that he will personally end his support of the practice," said McMurtry.
Carding allows police to stop anyone at any time, question them and record the information. The practice has repeatedly been shown to target people of color.
The issue has simmered since Mayor Tory took office. Now he says he has joined the anti-carding side.
"It is my intention to see that carding is canceled permanently and that we start fresh, building what Torontonians and the world would expect of us, this very special place befitting a safe city that is a model to the world in respecting diversity and building a bias-free community," said Tory.
Tory says he will go the police services board next week and call for carding to be eliminated.
But Toronto's new police chief Mark Saunders, has defended the practice as an important police tool and has said police would work to improve their interactions with the public.
On Thursday, Saunders told a CBC show he does not support racial profiling or routinely stopping innocent people, but stopped short of denouncing carding. He told the show that ``when it's done right, it is lawful.''