A new coalition called the Anti-Black Racism Network (ABRN) held a press conference at the Ryerson Student Centre Wednesday morning to blast police carding and the civic leaders who support it — namely, Mayor John Tory, Toronto Police Services Board Chair Alok Mukherjee, and new Police Chief Mark Saunders.
Carding, if you’ve somehow missed it, is the police practice of arbitrarily stopping, questioning, and documenting a person — then entering their information into a database — to which young black men are disproportionately subjected.
The ABRN argues that the exercise is racist not only in practice but in theory. Especially in the absence of any evidence to support carding’s ostensible public safety objective, it can only be viewed as the latest manifestation of a centuries-old legacy of colonial efforts to put black people in their place.
Below, we’ve transcribed (and edited and condensed) excerpts from the statements delivered by each of the press conference’s five participants.