Middle Eastern, black drivers more likely to be stopped according to Ottawa Police report
OTTAWA - Middle Eastern and black drivers are more likely to be stopped, according to the second Traffic Stop Race Data Collection Report obtained by CTV News.
From 2017 to 2018, Middle Eastern drivers were stopped 3.18 times more than you would expect based on their population, while black drivers were stopped 2.3 times more than what you would expect based on their population.
The study also found the overall number of traffic stops was down more than a third, declining 35 per cent.
The study was conducted by the York University Research team over a three-year period from June 2015 to June 2018. A total of 96,436 recorded traffic stops were analyzed based on the collected data, including race, sex, age, along with the reasons for traffic stops and outcomes.
The report says in the initial consultations with racialized communities in Ottawa, the feeling was those communities were subjected to excessive surveillance by police and there were frequent traffic stops.
White drivers were stopped at a consistent rate of 0.9 times their ratio in the driver population over the five years of the study from 2013 to 2018.
The study also found a clear overall increase in charges. Over the five-year period, there was a more than 30% increase in charges resulting from a traffic stop by police, The results showed the increase in charges was not disproportionately higher for racialized minority groups, but white drivers saw the greatest increase in likelihood to be charged, and most likely to be charged when stopped.
Reasons for the traffic stops included provincial and municipal offences, neither of which was used a disproportionally manner for any racial minority group.
The first Traffic Stop Race Data Collection Report released in fall of 2016, found Middle Eastern drivers were pulled over more than 3 times than expected, and for black drivers, 2.3 times more than expected. The findings were calculated based on more than 81-thousand traffic stops.
The study was conducted over two years, from June 2013 to June 2015. Former Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau had accepted the findings, but didn’t think it was racial profiling.
The massive project was launched from a 2012 settlement agreement between the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Ottawa Police Services Board
The briefing Wednesday is expected cover issues within the Ottawa community including “carding” policies, the practice of random street checks that came under fire amid concerns of racial profiling.
Ottawa’s newest Police Chief Peter Sloly commented on racial profiling when he was deputy police chief in Toronto in early 2016, weighing in on the controversial “carding” policy.
"I've never seen policing at this low a point in terms of public trust and legitimacy," said Sloly, going on to say he believed major changes were needed to prevent a crisis in Toronto.
Shortly after, former deputy chief took annual leave, before resigning from a 27-year policing career in Toronto.
The full details of the study, plus a presentation of the Diversity Audit which looks at the state of the service's own diversity, will get underway Wednesday morning at City Hall.
Sloly is also expected to reveal the details of the multi-year action plan for the newly created Equity Diversity and Inclusive office. The Ottawa police chief had announced new funding for the permanent EDI office during the 2020 draft budget on Nov. 6.
There will be a number of recommendations made to the Ottawa Police Service following the presentation of results.