Police Killings and Systemic Racism in Canadian Policing

Authors: June Skeeter*, University of British Columbia
Topics: Canada, Ethnicity and Race, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Police Violence, Social Justice, Systemic Racism, Educational Content, Defund the Police
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 32
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Police violence and systemic racism are pervasive across North America. However, discussions of these issues in Canada are severely lagging behind those in the United States despite the ongoing violence of settler colonialism and white supremacy. Indigenous and Black people respectively are 5.8 times and 4.3 times more likely to be killed by police in Canada than White people. Yet the commissioner of the RCMP has been quoted denying the existence of systemic racism in Canadian policing as recently as June 2020. Many Canadians share this misinformed viewpoint, and there is little information available within the public sphere to refute it. Police departments are not mandated to collect or release this information to the public in Canada. The most complete record of killings at the hands of police in Canada has been collected by the CBC. This dataset gives an imperfect account of police killings in Canada over the last two decades, but it can nonetheless serve to educate Canadians on the pervasiveness of police violence and systemic racism in Canadian policing. This project aims to quantify, highlight, and visualize the prevalence of systemic racism in Canadian policing through the analysis of this dataset along with Canadian census data. This talk will give a brief overview of the dataset and work that has been done with it, including the creation of instructional content for the UBC library and an interactive website for deeper analysis and broader dissemination of the data.

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