British Columbia’s human rights commissioner has launched an inquiry into police use of force against people who are racialized or dealing with mental health issues.
Kasari Govender says in a statement the inquiry comes as a result of a 2021 study by the commissioner’s office showing a “disturbing pattern of discrimination in policing in the province.”
Report on B.C. policing finds ‘disturbing pattern of discrimination’
Govender says while no comprehensive data exists on the severity of the problem, available information suggests police use force “more frequently and with greater severity” against these two groups.
The inquiry is aimed at “quantifying” police use of force in these instances, and Govender says it aims to make recommendations to address “systemic
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The commissioner’s November 2021 report analyzing data from five B.C. police jurisdictions found Indigenous, black and West-Asian people were all overrepresented in arrests and chargeable incidents.
The report also found that police interact more frequently with people dealing with mental health issues, which in turn has a “greater impact” on racialized individuals.
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