Amnesty International Canada

Canada: Stop anti-Black racism
and over-policing


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Call on your Premier
to empower communities

Fill out the form below to send a message urging your Premier to support new, transformative approaches to upholding public safety.



Call on Canada's Premiers to empower communities

Communities have been speaking out for decades about how Black people experience policing in Canada. It’s time to listen: racism is not up for debate – it’s systemic.

Recent tragic incidents once again underscore the urgent need for fundamental change. Wellness checks – calls for assistance from either individuals or concerned relatives – particularly for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) have ended in excessive use of force or even death. 

Often police are the only responders to these calls. Even when other services are the first responders, police become the default option if those initially at the scene no longer feel they can manage the situation.

Wellness checks end in death

In recent years, a number of racialized individuals have been injured or killed during wellness checks by police. One three month stretch in 2020 was particuarly deadly:

In April, 26-year-old D’Andre Campbell was shot in his home by Peel police officers.  

In May, 29-year-old Regis Korchinski-Paquet, who is Black and Indigenous, plummeted to her death from the 24th floor of her apartment building after municipal police officers entered the residence in Toronto. 

In June, 62-year-old Ejaz Ahmed Choudry was shot and killed by police in Mississauga. 

26-year-old Chantel Moore, an Indigenous woman originally from BC, was shot dead by Edmundston Police in New Brunswick

These are not the only interactions in recent months that have resulted in deaths, and they are not isolated incidents. There are currently no common standards for wellness check protocols across Canada. In January 2023, a third-party progress report on the implementation and operations of the Toronto Community Crisis Service pilots –  an alternative community-led solution to respond to mental health crisis calls and wellness checks – confirmed the pilots have successfully diverted 78% of mental health crisis calls received by 911 with no police involvement.

In Augst 2020, The Ontario Human Rights Commission second interim report on anti-Black racism in policing confirmed that Black people in Toronto are up to 20 times more likely to be shot dead by police than white people. In June 2022, the Toronto Police Service released the findings of race-based data collected in 2020, which identified systemic discrimination in policing (specifically use-of-force incidents and strip searches), noting a disproportionate impact on racialized people, particularly Black communities. Black and Indigenous People were more likely to be subject to use of force during “person in crisis” calls for service.

According to a Vancouver Police Board Study, Indigenous and Black people are significantly over-represented in street checks conducted by the Vancouver Police Department. In 2017, 16% of all street checks were of Indigenous people, despite making up 2% of Vancouver’s population. Black people accounted for 4% of street checks despite making up 1% of the population.

Urge your Premier to support new, transformative approaches to upholding public safety.

The United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent has raised alarms about systemic racism within Canada’s justice system, including specific concerns on how police practices such as carding disproportionately impact Black people. Those concerns are also documented in numerous other reports, including from the Ontario Human Rights Commission and Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. 

Amnesty International unequivocally supports frontline groups and activists in communities across the country who work courageously and tirelessly to expose that systemic racism and demand justice for the growing number of BIPOC who have been wrongly arrested, mistreated or killed by police across Canada.  

Communities have told officials what they need, and it isn’t more enforcement.

Urge your Premier to support new, transformative approaches to upholding public safety.

A comprehensive reform agenda should:

  • ban the practices of carding, street checks, and racial profiling by police,
  • overhaul the approach to wellness checks,
  • refrain from additional funding for law enforcement,
  • consider significant reductions in spending on policing,
  • curtail militarization of police forces,
  • discontinue programs that put police in schools, ban the use of facial recognition technology by police for mass surveillance,
  • address the intersectionality that exists in policing Black women and Black trans individuals,
  • comprehensively overhaul police oversight,
  • and end all other harmful and racist policies and practices.


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