“Many of us in the community are absolutely stunned at the lack of political support for Dr. Alok Mukherjee; it seems the whole community is being thrown under the bus,” says Cutty Duncan, an organizer with the Campaign to Stop Police Carding.
By not receiving public support from our political leaders, Dr. Alok Mukherjee, the chair of the citizen-led Toronto Police Services Board, was seemingly forced into an apology to the TPA that was absolutely unnecessary. As a result, if Dr. Mukherjee retains his job we fear his ability to push the police services and the police association in resolving issues on police carding and racial profiling may be compromised, if not doomed.
The Campaign is shocked to see the lack of public political support to Dr. Alok Mukherjee as the recent comments by Mike McCormack, President of the Toronto Police Association, the police union, seem to be a blatant attempt to side rail impending police reform and staffing reductions by smearing the name and questioning the judgment of Dr. Alok Mukherjee. This raises real concern for many of us who work in the most marginalized and racialized communities. Dr. Mukherjee’s leadership at the Toronto Police Services Board represents a path to end Police Carding and to rethink of how we do “Community Policing”.
Dr. Mukherjee’s intent on making real changes to Toronto Police Services around runaway police budgets and widespread mistrust of police within the Black and racialized community is something that our political leaders should have taken seriously and provided public support and endorsement to Dr. Mukherjee instead of shrugging off the issue.
As Torontonians and proud Canadians, we should all be concerned about the brutal police practices happening south of the border to racialized communities as it serves as an indication of what can occur when police forces fail to adapt. The current practice of carding is racial profiling, which is inherently racist. It seems like Mike McCormack is doing everything in his power to prevent the impending reforms at Toronto Police Services and to silence the voices of racialized and marginalized communities of this city.
We need to see from our political leaders some indication that they are truly serious about ensuring that we have better and fairer policing for all.
The Campaign to Stop Police Carding