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HomeSciencePolice-Involved Fatalities in Canada are Increasing According to the Data

Police-Involved Fatalities in Canada are Increasing According to the Data


Graph from Tracking(In)Justice showing the number of police-related deaths when using force per year between 2000 and 2022. Credit: Tracking(In)Justice, author provided

Fatal confrontations with the police On the rise in Canada. The number of civilians who die in incidents with the police when using force has increased steadily since 2000. This leaves families and communities with little support or recourse to accountability.

We are members of Tracerable Justice Project Documentation and analysis of police-related deaths when using force in Canada. Tracking (In) Justice is a partnership of academics and advocates that aims to shine a spotlight on police violence to help drive calls for accountability, transparency, and changes in policing.

Gathering this information gives us the ability to ask new questions, such as why some police forces kill more people than others. It also allows us to inform policy designed to address police accountability issues.

it was there Longstanding calls for police and governments to collect and share data About incidents in which the use of force caused civilian injury and death. Journalists, academics, civil society groups, and victims’ families have been involved in this work for a long time.

However, there is no centralized, up-to-date dataset that tracks deaths and provides information about the person, location, police service involved, type of force used, and many other contextual details. Much of what we rely on to understand these cases is like “official” documents. Media releases of the police or oversight bodywhich contains limited detail and tells only a one-sided detective story.

Obituary tracking

Our preliminary findings It notes that incidents of use of force are increasing, with the highest number occurring in 2022. Some of this long-term trend may be due to increased access to information about police killings and deaths. But access to information alone does not explain the staggering increase in recent years.

According to Tracking (In)Justice data, there were an average of 22.7 police-related deaths between 2000-2010. In contrast, an average of 37.8 people died each year between 2011-2022. This represents an increase of 66.5 percent.

Shootings also appear to be occurring more frequently. Tracking (In) Justice has documented 704 deaths in Canada from 2000 to 2022 where the police force was used. The data includes deaths due to police shootings and deaths of a person after exposure to other types of police weapons (such as tasers) or physical interventions (such as restraints).

This data has been compiled by accessing publicly available information from the media and official reports. The data includes information relating to the victim, including name, age, and ethnicity when known. It also documents the place of death, the police involvement and the highest level of force used.

Track racial data and shot deaths

the next old patterns of inequalityThere are persistent racial disparities within the overall increase in deaths involving police when using force.

According to the data we have collected, Black and Indigenous people are being killed in numbers disproportionate to the size of their population. According to the Latest Census Canada dataIndigenous people make up 6.1 percent of Canada’s population and black people make up 4.3 percent.

(In)Justice tracking data shows that 112 of the deceased were identified by police or other authorities as Indigenous, and 54 identified as Black since 2000. These numbers are 16.2 percent and 8.1 percent, respectively. More than 240 people have been identified as white. However, it should be noted that there are a large number of unknowns, as race is often not reported in public documents.

Racial disparities are further reflected in the numbers of police shootings. People identified by police or other authorities as black accounted for 8.7 percent of the total number, while people identified as indigenous accounted for 18.5 percent.

Blacks and Indigenous people together make up about 10 percent of the population in Canada, yet account for 27.2 percent of police shooting deaths when the victim’s race is determined.

Deaths by jurisdiction and police force

Most provinces and territories It has seen an increase of 30 percent or more in police-related deaths since 2010.

Overall, Ontario has the most deaths at 224, followed by British Columbia with 141, Alberta with 121, Quebec with 115, Manitoba with 38 and Saskatchewan with 29. The remaining provinces and territories have seen nine or fewer deaths since 2000. New Brunswick and Nunavut saw one death between 2000 and 2010, followed by a rise of seven deaths each between 2011 and 2022.

Three police departments—Toronto, Peel, and Montreal—have been implicated in two-thirds of deaths of people identified as black. The RCMP is involved in more than half of Aboriginal deaths, in 57 out of 112. Some of this trend may be long-term due to increased access to information about police killings and deaths. But access to information alone does not explain the staggering increase in the past three years.

calls for accountability

The (In)Justice Tracking is a live dataset and a work in progress. We are actively working to expand the data, including determining whether the police classified the murdered person as “someone in crisisThis is a problematic and capable category, which may give us insight into the ways in which people identified with disabilities are affected by police violence.

The data also does not include incidents where police were present, but force was not necessarily used, such as during falls, vehicle accidents, or deaths in custody.

What is also missing is the impact on families when a loved one is killed by the police. When someone kills a loved one, they can’t access it Victim servicesBecause the one you love is not considered a victim. They may never know the name of the person responsible for killing their loved one and may have to pay legal fees out of pocket in their efforts to seek justice.

Family members may never have access to coroner’s reports, oversight investigation reports, or even the belongings of their deceased family members. They are often given unfairly little help to navigate systems in their pursuit of justice.

There is growing interest in the impact of police violence and racial injustice in the Canadian criminal justice system. Our project findings support longstanding calls for accountability, transparency, and scrutiny of police conduct in Canada. There is still much work to be done.

Introduction to the conversation

This article has been republished from Conversation Under Creative Commons Licence. Read the The original article.Conversation

the quote: Data shows police-related deaths in Canada are on the rise (2023, April 19) Retrieved April 19, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-04-police-involved-deaths-canada.html

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