Victoria city council voted to ban street checks on Thursday. (Black Press Media file photo)

Victoria council looks to ban police street checks

Council will seek immediate action from Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board

Victoria council voted unanimously to ban street checks or ‘carding’ at Thursday’s council meeting.

The unanimous vote from council seeks a ban on stopping and recording information from people who aren’t suspected of a criminal offence – an act known to disproportionately target Black, Indigenous and people of colour.

Council will request the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board and the Victoria Police Department take immediate action to implement the ban.

Victoria’s decision comes on the heels of the early July move by the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs and dozens of other local and provincial organizations that put out a call to ban street checks across the province. Vancouver council adopted a similar ban days before Victoria.

RELATED: Victoria council looks to address systemic racism

“It is critical [the] City demonstrates leadership in taking actions to address systemic racism,” tweeted Victoria Coun. Sharmarke Dubow. “We can’t do business as usual. We have to go in for all of us.”

A separate motion to acknowledge and implement the International Decade for People of African Descent was also passed the July 23 meeting. The goal is to create programs that celebrate and raise awareness of the heritage and culture of people of African descent, as well as build a grant program for organizations and businesses led by Black residents.

READ ALSO: Racism is here too, say Victoria’s black community leaders


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