The Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism
For Immediate Release
March 29, 2016
Saskatchewan New Democratic Party has remained silent on racialized policing and street checks
The Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism (SCAR) is raising concerns with the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party (NDP) and its silence on issues of racialized policing and state-sanctioned violence. The Saskatchewan NDP has maintained silence while the Police Chiefs of both Regina and Saskatoon stated unequivocally that there is no racism or racists in their police departments. By staying silent in the face of such statements, the NDP is voicing agreement and support of these statements. As the Saskatchewan Police Commission is making a policy on street checks, the Saskatchewan NDP have not publicly commented on the wide use of a practice that has been condemned across the country as being racialized policing. As the Regina Police Service (RPS) uses the Trespass to Property Act to target pan-handlers and the homeless, the Saskatchewan NDP chooses to stand by quietly as people are pushed out of Regina’s downtown core. The Public Complaints Commission (PCC) affirmed that Simon Ash-Moccasin, an Indigenous man, did not match the description of the person that the RPS was looking for and yet he was detained—and then assaulted, but the PCC claimed this was not an act of racial profiling. The RPS admits that this incident was a mistake, but this assault was within the bounds of the law and an acceptable use of force. While Ash-Moccasin’s case was being publicly discussed, the Saskatchewan NDP was no where to be found.
SCAR takes these acts of silence as a sign that it will be business as usual for policing in Saskatchewan if the NDP takes power. Chris Kortright from SCAR states, “We have no choice based on the NDP’s deafening silence then to believe if they take power they will just support these forms of racialized policing.” Kortright continues, “For all the talk of change we hear, there is no talk about street checks or racial profiling which I think speaks for itself.” SCAR points out that while the Saskatchewan NDP avoids the issues of racialized policing, groups like the Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism, Voices for Justice and Police Accountability and Saskatoon Coordinating Committee Against Police Violence will continue raising awareness. SCAR asks the NDP which side they are on? SCAR, also, reminds the NDP that no matter who wins the election they will continue fighting against state sanctioned violence and racism.