A report released by Michael H. Tulloch, a judge of the Court of Appeal for Ontario suggests that police abandon the practice of carding citing its ineffectiveness and racial undertones.
Tulloch was appointed by the Government of Ontario on June 7th, 2017 to review the practice of collecting identification by police officers and the regulation which control’s the practice.
“Carding” is defined by the report as “a small subset of street checks in which a police officer randomly asks an individual to provide identifying information when the individual is not suspected of any crime, nor is there any reason to believe that the individual is not suspected of any crime, nor is there any reason to believe that the individual has information about any crime.”
According to the report the consultation review took over 11 months and engaged 2,200 people while also receiving over 100 written submissions. Among the “stakeholders” consulted, the report cites police services, community organizations, public interest groups, individuals and academics.
According to his findings, Tulloch believes that the practice is ineffective at preventing or stopping crime.
“I met with Indigenous, Black and other racialized communities throughout the province. Hearing directly from these communities highlighted the historic and current issues these communities face with respect to the practice of street checks,” writes Tulloch.
Among his recommendations, Tulloch suggests that “no police oﬃcer should arbitrarily or randomly stop individuals to request their identifying information. “
While suggesting police abandon the practice of carding the report stipulates that officers can reasonably ask for identification in the case of “suspicious activity” which must be clearly defined by the regulation.
The report also recommends that racialized groups be involved in the training process.