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Racial Profiling of Aboriginal Peoples in Saskatchewan a Long-Standing and Deeply Troubling Problem
(Saskatoon, SK – December 17, 2014) The recent case of racial profiling involving Simon Ash-Moccasin is yet another example that racial profiling by Saskatchewan police continues. The victim was followed by Regina police and profiled as a suspect. When Ash-Moccasin tried to walk away, an officer pushed him up against a wall, handcuffed him and then threw him in the back of a police cruiser. At the station, Ash-Moccasin was released and not charged with any crime. He has filed a compliant with the Saskatchewan Public Complaints Commission. “It’s completely ironic that Ash-Moccasin works as an actor in police training scenarios at the Regina Police College at the University of Regina,” said Kim Beaudin, President of the Aboriginal Affairs Coalition of Saskatchewan (AACS).
In 2012, AACS raised the issue of racial profiling of Aboriginal peoples and engaged in a dialogue with the Saskatoon Board of Police Commissioners. The despicable practice of racial profiling continues and the result is alienation of Aboriginal peoples from law enforcement. This depletion of credibility and trust makes the legal system dysfunctional, and relations between Aboriginal peoples and police toxic.
Racial profiling was defined by the Canadian Review of Policing Research as: “a racial disparity in police stop and search practices, customs searches at airports and border crossings, in police patrols in minority neighbourhoods and in undercover activities or sting operations which target particular ethnic groups.” AACS supports a broader definition of racial profiling similar to that taken by the Ontario Human Rights Commission: “any action undertaken for reasons of safety, security or public protection that relies on stereotypes about race, colour, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, or place of origin rather than on reasonable suspicion, to single out an individual for greater scrutiny or different treatment.”
The AACS is an Aboriginal advocacy organization representing the interests of status and non-status Indians living off-reserve and Métis. Since 2006, our organization has been advocating for the rights and interests of this constituency at provincial and national levels.
For more information contact:
Kim Beaudin, President
Aboriginal Affairs Coalition of Saskatchewan
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