A proposed class-action lawsuit has been launched in regard to Toronto police’s use of carding (Courtesy: Canva)
A proposed class-action lawsuit has been launched this week regarding the historic use of carding by police in Toronto.
The statement of claim was filed on Aug. 14, on behalf of all Black and Indigenous people who have either been stopped by or had their info collected by Toronto police without reason since 2011, according to The Canadian Press.
In 2017, Ontario passed laws prohibiting carding by police in certain cases and banning them from collecting this info randomly. This means people cannot be carded in certain situations, such as by police looking into suspicious activities or investigating possible criminal activity. But people can be carded in some circumstances, like during a traffic stop, or if an officer is executing a search warrant.
A statement of claim for the class action reportedly says carding continues, disproportionately affecting Black and Indigenous people. These allegations have not been proven in court.
Those named as defendants in the lawsuit include the Toronto Police Services Board, current Toronto Police Chief Myron Demkiw, as well as former chiefs James Ramer, Mark Saunders and Bill Blair.
The lawsuit is looking to find that carding violates Charter rights put in place to protect people from unreasonable search and seizure, arbitrary detention and discrimination, as well as rights of liberty and security, among other violations, according to reports. It’s also looking for reforms around carding, including wiping data from police databases. Claimants are also seeking a public apology to those impacted by carding.
Toronto Police said it could not comment on the lawsuit at this time.
“The Service is reviewing the Statement of Claim, but as this matter is before the courts, we will not be commenting at this time,” police said in a statement.
Back in 2019, a review of carding practices by Ontario Justice Michael Tulloch showed that carding, or random street checks, was not effective in reducing or preventing crime. Tulloch’s report recommended that carding be abolished due to the impact on racialized communities.
The lawsuit says only some of the recommendations made in Tulloch’s report have been put into place, according to reports.. They are looking for all 129 recommendations to be put into effect.