The Colour of Justice

The Colour of Justice

Policing Race in Canada

Book - 2006
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Justice in Canada is largely driven by stereotypical assumptions about crime and those who commit it. Over the last few years, the use of race, ethnicity and religion as indicators of suspicion by the police and security officials has come under scrutiny. The focus, however, has largely been on the American experience. The Colour of Justice provides the first comprehensive look at racial profiling in Canada. Its aim is to foster understanding and reform. The book uses social science evidence, judicial decisions, commission findings, government and police documents, narratives, and media reports to provide the answers to the following questions: When should policing be characterized as racial profiling? Why does it occur? How pervasive is it? What damage does it cause? Is it ever reasonable? How do we stop it?
Publisher: Toronto : Irwin Law, 2006
ISBN: 9781552211151
Branch Call Number: 363.23 T16c
Characteristics: v, 268 p. ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: Color of justice

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Jun 02, 2017

This is an interesting discussion about race, law enforcement and justice. Most of the cases of injustice cited are shocking. Still, I am left with some hesitation and misgiving. The premise of the book is about unequal policing based on race, but science agrees that race does not even exist—it is a social construct (see: ). The author proposes that suspect descriptions ought to be given in terms of appearance, not race, but, since race does not exist, isn't that obvious? He also criticizes the targeting of ethnic gangs involved in crime and appears to prefer a more general approach to dealing with gangs, but the fact is, there really are ethnic gangs and some of these gangs are the most dangerous, since they have a history of endangering the lives of innocent bystanders. Finally, he concludes that racial profiling should become a crime with mandatory sentences of up to five years and/or $15 thousand starting at the second offense. That is a shocking proposal for a situation that is difficult to conclusively prove for a criterion that does not even exist! While I sympathize with people who have been unfortunately harmed, and I certainly hope that this will stop, population projections suggest that, by 2031, paler faces will only account for ⅔ of the Canadian population and the trend will only accelerate, with the larger cities reaching even lower percentages sooner: doesn't this make the issue something of a red herring?

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