OPS: Police Thyselves




“Especially when considered together with the personal accounts that led to the data being collected in the first place, the findings are alarming, are entirely consistent with racial profiling, and cannot and should not be easily explained away.”

Renu Mandhane, Ontario’s chief human rights commissioner, on racial profiling in the Ottawa Police Service


Your agent is a white anglo-saxon Protestant of a rather older vintage so racial profiling does not even enter my mind when talking with a police officer.

That said, after the recent death of Abdirahman Abdi while in police hands, ethnic communities are looking at the Ottawa Police Service with distrust. That can’t be allowed to happen. The OPS is everyone’s police service, not one just for WASPs.

What police chief Charles Bordeleau must do is produce a program, sell it to the public and implement it so that racial profiling at the OPS is minimized. One hopes that the rank-and-file would push that program as well.

Given Canada’s immigration policies and the low birthrate among Canadian citizens, our country is bound to become increasingly multi-racial. Accordingly, Ottawa’s police must be able to work cooperatively with all parts of the community.

Ottawans know that the vast, vast majority of officers are brave men and woman … fine people who put their safety on the line to keep residents secure. We know those officers do not like racial profiling.

The best way of dealing with this nasty practice is peer pressure, as is the case with other nasty goings-on in the force. Good officers must step up and be heard by their fellows.

The rank-and-file can make racial profiling disappear.


A police take down in 2011.



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