A recent study of SPVM arrests of Black and white youth in Montreal found that Black youth are seven times more likely to be arrested for possessing or selling marijuana than white teenagers. This was found to be caused by the over-surveillance of Black youth, not by their over-involvement in the behaviour. This is corroborated by a leaked internal police report revealed that in 2006-7, at least 30-40% of all Black youth in St. Michel and Montreal-Nord had been subjected to ‘random’ identity checks, as compared to 5% of whites. A 2011 investigation by the Commission des droits de la personne et droits de la jeunesse Quebec found that young Black persons had difficulty accessing public space such as parks or metros without being harassed or told to disperse. Similar practices in Toronto have been compared to South Africa’s apartheid-era passbook laws by Ontario criminologists and Justice Harry Laforme. This heavy policing is often justified by perceived associations between Black communities, danger, drugs and gangs; despite the fact that in 2009, only 1.6% of reported crime was related to street-gang activity. Yet Over-policing leads to racially disproportionate incarceration; the most recent report by the Office of the Correctional Investigator found that Black persons are now incarcerated at a rate of three times their percentage within the Canadian population and Black incarceration rates have skyrocketed, having increased by 69% between 2005 and 2015.
Keep6ix is Impacting Lives and Helping At Risk Youth to Succeed Through Mentorship, Counselling, Workshops, and Other Resources.
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