The following is the response I gave to the survey from Pyriscience. You can view a full list of my survey responses here.
What are the goals of the carding process, as you see them?
I can appreciate the intention of carding. If we temporarily ignore that Canada has a Charter of Rights and Freedoms, then it makes sense from a policing perspective to stop, question and record the ID of anyone they might see on the streets.
In theory a police officer can understand why a person is there in public, and has that individual's information if that person commits a crime later. Any time later, because they'll keep those files around for a long time.
And now, for the remainder of the questions, let us remember that Canada has a Charter of Rights and Freedoms...
In your opinion, is carding achieving its goals?
Frankly, it doesn't matter to me. The ends don't justify the means.
Citizens of Canada don't have rights "unless a police officer decides alienating them achieves a goal". We have rights. Carding leverages the ever-present power dynamic of police vs citizens to question and identify a completely innocent person even though that person "can leave any time".
How should EPS address the racial disparity that has been demonstrated in carding statistics?
That's the particularly insidious part of the discussion. Since carding occurs without the police having any reasonable cause to search that person in pursuit of a crime, it reveals a police of approach of both casual and perhaps systematic racism.
Carding is an inappropriate practice regardless of race. But what the practice has revealed about which individuals the police targets when there is no crime to guide their investigation is quite telling.
Is it too naive to say EPS should just knock it off with the racial targeting? It's hard to say what the solution to the problem is without any look inside the EPS as an organization. The police organization is impenetrable from the outside, public view.
The police commission needs to determine whether the choices of who to stop and card is primarily a product of individual patrol officers decision making, or if there is a systematic training approach that causes certain minorities to be disproportionately targeted.
And then that needs to be addressed either with better officer training, or systemic change.
How would you address carding in your role as city councilor?
From a rhetoric perspective, I hope it is clear that I stand as a hard "End it. Yesterday".
However, city council does not have the ability to direct EPS. Two city councillors do sit on the police commission, however, and I think it would be naive to say the EPS has no interest in what city council has to say or what direction they are setting for the city.
If elected, I would work with my colleagues to move us all onto the same page that carding is an unacceptable practice.
With a unified city council opposing police carding, I cannot see the police chief continuing to push back and defend the practice.