Edmonton examines police carding practices; backlash over researchers
The Street Check Policy and Practice Review project, sponsored by the Edmonton Police Commission (EPC), is now underway under the lead of Curt Griffiths, Ph.D., from the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University in B.C.
The EPC says it is “committed to ensuring that the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) street check policies and procedures are fair, appropriate, respectful of all Edmontonians, and that the collection and analysis of street check data is done in a manner that assists the EPS in maintaining the safety and security of the community.”
The objective of this project is to assist the EPC in its oversight and governance role and in fulfilling its mandate to help build a safe and inclusive community, EPC stated.
Two of the major components of the project are interviews and focus groups. These will be conducted with persons from the various communities in Edmonton and also with members of the EPS.
In a recent CBC article, Black Lives Matter (BLM) expressed concern over the review as “Griffiths is in a conflict of interest because of work he did for the Canadian Police Association in the past.”
The Stolen Sisters & Brothers Awareness Movement agreed with BLM.
In June, BLM notes it released data obtained from Edmonton police showing that black people and Indigenous women accounted for a higher proportion of street check subjects than their share of the city’s population.
In a written statement published by media outlets earlier this month, commission acting chair Tim O’Brien said he has “full confidence in the integrity of Dr. Griffiths and his team and their ability to carry out an independent and unbiased review.”
The commission expects a final report back by March 31, 2018.