I can appreciate the fact that Toronto Deputy Police Chief Peter Sloly, as the executive sponsor of the Police & Community Engagement Report, is very proud of this document and has high expectations with respect to its implementation. However, his assertion that “This organization (Toronto Police Service) has chosen to join Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom” in relation to the TPS efforts to address bias in policing smacks of total disrespect – if not sacrilege. His lack of understanding of the life and struggle of the late Nelson Mandela for freedom for his people is obvious.
Mr. Sloly, while it is true that the Toronto Police Service has created a poisoned environment in Toronto for Black men, an environment that can be and indeed has often been likened to apartheid, it is quite a stretch to suggest that anything you and the TPS could ever do can be likened to that epic struggle of the late Nelson Mandela.
As well, both you and the TPS should note that if the “quantity of contact cards have been reduced over the past year”, it could very well have been as a result of the negative media reporting, in particular in our community, and not necessarily as a result of “changed officer performance” as you have suggested. In any event, the TPS shouldn’t be seeking credit for remedying an unlawful situation which they created.
Finally, there was one mitigating comment, attributed to you, which I found most interesting in this article and that is your acknowledgment that “The mission of PACER is to end racial profiling and to make the TPS a world leader in bias-free police delivery”. I take it then this is your admission that the TPS has been subjecting Black men to racial profiling and bias policing? This from a senior officer who just a couple months ago in a related article, was trying to defend carding?