Police and systemic bias: ‘There’s some soul searching at the top’

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“It was perfectly normal, in that police officer’s mind, to see me as something dirty, as something not worth his protection. Fast-forward to today and the chief of police of one of Quebec’s biggest cities makes the statement he did — to have a commander of Montreal feel sufficiently safe to be able to send that memo to his colleagues, it says a lot about how mentalities have changed.

“We haven’t seen as much improvement as we need on the ground but there’s some soul searching at the top. That’s heartening.”

Questions of racial profiling have resurfaced at departments across North America since the police killing of George Floyd last month. Floyd, an unarmed black man, was choked to death while handcuffed and lying face down on the pavement in Minneapolis.

Floyd’s death, which was captured on video, triggered a protest movement that hasn’t relented since his death on May 25. Most are calling on reforms in the way police patrol our streets and the way officer-involved shootings are investigated.

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