Race, age, and gender are big factors in who is stopped by police in Toronto, reports the Toronto Star. Looking at blacks and whites of all ages, blacks are three times more likely to be stopped. Black males aged 15-24 are stopped and documented 2.5 times more than white males the same age. In each of the city's 74 police patrol zones, blacks were documented at significantly higher rates than their overall census population by zone, and that in many zones, the same holds true for “brown” people – mainly people of South Asian, Arab and West Asian backgrounds.
“It doesn't matter what type of neighbourhood you live in or what type of neighbourhood you're travelling through, if you are black you are much more likely to attract the attention of the police and therefore have a contact card filled out,” says University of Toronto criminologist Scot Wortley, who reviewed the Star analysis. Police Chief Bill Blair understands that people may think they are being unfairly stopped. He said police are targeting neighborhoods where the highest level of “victimization” occurs. He said these are often “racialized” neighborhoods. The Star based its reporting on six year’s worth of contact data from police obtained through a freedom of information request.