Journal Archives

Profiling minorities: police stop and search practices in Toronto, Canada


This paper explores police stop and search practices in Toronto using the 2003-2012 data from Toronto Police Service. The findings demonstrate that for black youth, the number of stops and the stops/arrests ratios increased significantly by 42.7% and 44.9% respectively between 2003 and 2012, while for white youth, both indices decreased steadily during the same period. Moreover, they show that police stops of black youth occur most excessively in neighbourhoods where more white people reside and/or have higher crime rates. This article argues for the importance of a contextualized examination of police stops within the spatial context of neighbourhoods and calls for open and free access to police stop data, regular internal review by police, and community policing in Toronto.

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Issue: Volume 11, Issue 1, 2017