Racial bias ‘a reality’: Eves
Premier backs talks on treatment of blacks by police
（Toronto Star Caroline Mallan- October 23, 2002 ）Premier Ernie Eves says he supports a summit meeting to discuss a Toronto Star investigation into the treatment of blacks by police.
The investigation showed blacks charged with simple drug possession received harsher treatment than whites facing the same charge, and that a disproportionate number of blacks were ticketed for offences that would usually come to light only after a traffic stop was made ― a pattern consistent with racial profiling.
Toronto Police Chief Julian Fantino says police do not engage in racial profiling.
Public Safety Minister Bob Runciman said he has already spoken with Alexander, who suggested a small initial meeting of key people from the government, police, the black police officers’ association and some community leaders.
Runciman has also talked to members of the police command and said they’re eager to meet the minority communities soon.
“I think that they’re looking at a broader meeting as well, where they can meet the representatives of the minority communities to give their side of the story, if you will. So I think they’re very keen on doing that, it’s just a question of making sure the chief is in town. The chief wants to be present and he’s out of town at the moment.” Alexander, who is honorary chief of the Toronto police and chair of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, said he was pleased by Runciman’s willingness to address the issue.
“Everything’s on target,” Alexander said, referring to the summit, which is set to take place early next month.
Meanwhile, Toronto Police Association President Craig Bromell, who has called for a boycott of The Star, said he “jumped the gun” when he agreed earlier to participate in the summit.
“I’ve spoken to the board today and we decided that once we get more information, we’ll decide to attend,” Bromell said last night.”We don’t know if it’ll be a waste of time or not.”