NDP Leader Gary Burrill and NDP Preston candidate Colter Simmonds spoke today with Quentrel Provo, founder of the Stop the Violence, Spread the Love campaign about the impact police street checks have on people.
“The Liberals promised to ban street checks but we hear from real people who tell us street checks still happen on a regular basis,” said Burrill.
“We have reached a moment in time where people deserve clear and decisive action to end the unfair and racist practice of street checks.”
In March 2019, the Human Rights Commission’s Street Check Report overwhelmingly confirmed what African Nova Scotians have been saying for decades. Street checks are an instance of systemic racism and need to stop say the NDP in a media release.
Street check data has shown that Black people in Halifax were six times more likely to be street checked by police than white people.
“I’m running so that I can amplify the pain our community feels every time our issues are put on the backburner. We deserve something better,” said Simmonds.
The NDP says if elected they would immediately end street checks including the “suspicious activity” exception.
“The current government said they would put an end to street checks after the apology by HRP Chief in 2019, but I haven’t seen any change happen in our communities,” said Provo. “I bought a new Mercedes in Sept 2020 and have been profiled about 4 times since then as young black man driving a nice car. People are living regular lives, yet are still being stopped and questioned by police because of the suspicious activity loophole, it’s not what was promised and it’s been very frustrating. We need change.”
The NDP says people should live in their communities without fear of unfair interaction with police, and that they will fully implement all recommendations from the Street Check Report in the spirit in which they were recommended and report publicly on their progress.
“African Nova Scotians face barriers in housing, employment, education, justice, health care and more. Communities are tired of talk. The NDP will work collaboratively to create a fair and inclusive society,” said Burrill.
Burrill spent the morning campaigning in Preston.