Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Media Release


HAMILTON, ON April 27, 2016 –As this is a formal complaint, and as I am both mayor and a member of the Police Services Board, it would not be proper to comment while the matter is being investigated.

My position on carding in general is well-known: it is indiscriminate, targeted, street checks, without the suspicion of a crime. As far as I’m concerned this must not be practiced and it is proper that it be banned.

In October 2015, the Provincial government proposed draft regulations that have now been passed. As of January 2017, the new rules say police officers cannot randomly or arbitrarily stop and question citizens. Officers must also inform a citizen that a stop is voluntary and they have the right to walk away. They will also be required to provide a reason for the stop, documentation about it afterwards, and must inform citizens how to file a complaint or access information obtained during the stop.


  1. If Green was just standing and waiting for a bus, then i agree that they have no right to question him or anyone else who is just standing there waiting for a bus. However, if police have reasons to believe that an individual was involved in a crime, or if a crime is committed and certain people happen to be nearby and should be questioned as to their part or what they've seen, then no-one gets a pass on that- no matter what color your skin is.

  2. There is such a fine line here. To what degree should we allow the police to engage or question an individual for reasons that only they can determine at the specific instant in time. To say they cannot question anyone is just plain wrong - how do they fulfill there mandate to keep us safe? These are individuals who are highly trained and yet we constantly question their methods. In my opinion the police are in an absolutely no win situation because the power of our social media will demonize them regardless of what they do. If you have done nothing wrong then just answer the questions respectfully, let the guy do his job trying to protect us and move on.

    1. Michael:

      I understand what you are saying, but what would you say in Green's case? He's just standing there waiting for a bus.

  3. Sorce,
    From what I read he wasn't standing at the bus stop waiting for the bus. In order to get out of the weather I believe he had crossed the street and was standing at the base of a bridge across from a school. So picture this and forget about the fact it was Green - a lone male individual standing across the street from a school/ recreation center. Suspicious? - I don't know but did it warrant the police office asking a question - again I don't know but is it better to err on the side of caution then to have just driven past because the police are prevented from stopping to ask? Do I think/ believe they stopped to ask him because he was Black - no way. When Green was asked "are you OK" he could have just said 'yes fine just trying to stay out of the wind" Instead he tossed it back at the officer and asked him if he was OK - confrontational - maybe? As I said previously this is a no win for the police - they are damned if they do and damned if they don't. I am not suggesting the police should have no rules or guidlines but if we handcuff them who will catch the real criminals?

  4. Michael:

    If what you said is correct, I think Green mishandled it. Under the circumstances you described, if they are in fact true, I think the officers were acting within reason.

    If Green got confrontational /sarcastic as you suggested he did., he acted irresponsibly and given the fact that he is a sitting councilor, he should have used better judgment.

    Having said all that, I do not support people getting asked questions because of the color of their skin. That is outright wrong. So, people who are authentically victimized in that way m should file a complaint. People who are not authentically victimized in that way, do nothing for their cause, In fact they hurt it.


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