Canada: N.S. justice minister suspends police street checks on pedestrians, vehicle passengers - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaN.S. justice minister suspends police street checks on pedestrians, vehicle passengers

12:31  18 april  2019
12:31  18 april  2019 Source:   globalnews.ca

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Justice Minister Mark Furey' s directive comes a day after a racial profiling report found that black people were street checked at a rate six times higher than white people in Halifax. Nova Scotia' s justice minister is directing police across the province to stop using quotas for street checks , a day

Nova Scotia’ s justice minister has directed police forces across the province to immediately cease using street checks — but only for “quota” or data Wortley said the staggering statistics are just the “tip of the iceberg,” noting that the figures do not include all police traffic stops and pedestrian stops.

N.S. justice minister suspends police street checks on pedestrians, vehicle passengers© The Canadian Press/Andrew Vaughan Justice Minister Mark Furey fields question as he holds a bill briefing on the Cannabis Control Act in Halifax on Tuesday, April 3, 2018.

Nova Scotia Justice Minister Mark Furey has directed police forces across the province to immediately suspend street checks of pedestrians and passengers in motor vehicles "until further notice."

The decision was unveiled Wednesday afternoon, three weeks after the release of an independent report that recommended banning or strictly regulating street checks in Nova Scotia.

READ MORE: Report recommends Halifax police’s street checks program be limited or banned

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Nova Scotia' s justice minister is ordering a moratorium on street checks of pedestrians by police across the province. Liberals find anti-Trudeau sentiment on campaign trail in Prince Edward Island. 3,546 Views. N . S . RCMP seek suspects after woman tied up, guns stolen during home invasion.

Police commission OKs moratorium on street checks . Nova Scotia' s justice minister is ordering a moratorium on street checks of pedestrians by police across the province. The suspension of the checks issued Wednesday will also apply to passengers in motor vehicles .

Furey says the moratorium protects people from street checks in public areas, such as parks, "provided there is no suspicious or illegal activity."

"The inappropriate use of street checks is alarming and unacceptable," Furey said in a statement Wednesday.

"Public trust in policing is essential. We need to address the fear and mistrust that street checks have caused for many in the African Nova Scotian community."

The Nova Scotia government missed its target last week for a decision on street checks. Furey said he needed more time in order to understand the true definition and intent of a street check.

He stated that would allow for new rules to be written with improved accuracy.

Last month's 180-report by the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission in 2017 found that street checks by Halifax-area police have had a “disproportionate and negative” impact on the African Nova Scotia community.

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Police street checks can be defined as the police practice of stopping pedestrians or drivers without cause and asking for identification and other information. The minister ’ s directive comes in the wake of findings in a report that African Nova Scotians in the Halifax area were more than five times more

Nova Scotia' s justice minister is ordering a moratorium on street checks of pedestrians by police across the province. Liberals find anti-Trudeau sentiment on campaign trail in Prince Edward Island. 3,343 Views. N . S . RCMP seek suspects after woman tied up, guns stolen during home invasion.

It also found that black males were nine times more likely to be stopped by police than the general population, and street check rates in Halifax were among the highest in Canada -- second only to Toronto.

Scot Wortley, the report’s author and a University of Toronto criminology professor, said “street checks have contributed to the criminalization of black youth, eroded trust in law enforcement and undermined the perceived legitimacy of the entire criminal justice system.”

The report recommended that street checks be limited or outright banned.

READ MORE: N.S. justice minister orders police to end street checks as ‘quota’ system or ‘performance tools’

A day after the report was released, Furey directed police forces across the province to immediately cease using street checks — but only for quota or data purposes.

But that decision wasn’t enough for many, with over 100 protesters taking the streets of Halifax the following weekend to call for an outright ban on the controversial police practice.

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A justice ministry , ministry of justice , or department of justice is a ministry or other government agency in charge of the administration of justice . The ministry or department is often headed by a minister of justice (called minister for justice in only very few countries) or secretary of justice .

Furey's decision Wednesday states police will continue to conduct traffic stops to ensure compliance under the Motor Vehicle Act and the Criminal Code.

"Police can stop a vehicle to ensure the motorist has a valid driver's licence, registration, proof of insurance and an up-to-date motor vehicle inspection. Police can also conduct a sobriety check or inquire into suspicious activity," the statement reads.

"Police can interact with citizens as part of their duties, but drivers are not obligated to provide unrelated personal information."

-- With files from Elizabeth McSheffrey

Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott to give keynote at First Nations justice conference.
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