Defund, Disarm, Demilitarize, Abolish Police! A Public call for Immediate Action
Issued By: The No Pride in Policing Coalition (NPPC) for Pride Day 2020
To: Toronto City Council, The Toronto Police Services Board, The Ontario Government, The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA), The R.C.M.P., The Federal Government to immediately take legislative and operational steps and emergency budgetary decisions towards defunding all Canadian Police Services.
This call is in support of widespread community calls by Black, Indigenous, 2SLGBTQ, racialized, homeless communities, people with disabilities, activists and scholars for real defunding, disarming, demilitarization, and dismantling of Police Services. This statement supports the call by Black Lives Matter Toronto (BLM-TO). The call extends to police services at all levels of government and their police agencies and is supported by the undersigned.
We Support Black Lives Matter Demands for Defunding of Police
We join the international uprising led by Black people against police killings and violence in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by Minnesota Police, Breonna Taylor’s fatal shooting by Louisville Police, and the killing of Tony McDade, a Black Trans man by Tallahassee Police.
Racist Police violence and killings are a pressing issue across Canada and in Toronto. The death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a Black-Indigenous woman in the presence of Toronto police in May, the New Brunswick police killing of Indigenous woman Chantel Moore during a ‘wellness’ call in early June, the RCMP shooting of Rodney Levi of the Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation, and the Peel police shootings of mental health survivors D’Andre Campbell in April, and Ejaz Ahmed Choudry in June, are only the most recent manifestations of systemic racist deaths of Black, Indigenous, and racialized people at the hands of police forces in Canada.
Systemic, institutionalized, violent, anti-Black racism and settler colonialism shapes Canadian society and its policing practices. Too many of the people shot and killed by police are people with disabilities. This cannot continue. The past 10 years alone have seen increases in routinized killings of Black, racialized and Indigenous people across this country.
Toronto has a documented record of anti-Black, anti-Indigenous, racist police killings by Police. Violent racist police practices are enmeshed with homophobic, misogynist, anti-trans, anti-disability and anti-poor police violence as well the the deadly neglect of Black, Indigenous and racialized people, sex workers, homeless and poor people. This is shockingly illustrated in the bungled investigations of the McArthur disappearances and serial killings of Brown gay men in Toronto’s Gay village and the unsolved murders of sex workers and Trans women such as Alloura Wells, a multiracial trans sex worker, and Sumaya Dalmar, a Somali-Canadian transgender woman.
We the Undersigned support the call by BLM-TO:
Black Lives Matter – Toronto (BLM-TO) demands to: Defund the Police. Demilitarize the Police. Disarm the Police. Dismantle the Police.
For More information: https://blacklivesmatter.ca
The Toronto Police Services (TPS) budget is over $1.1 billion dollars, which is more than public funding allotted to libraries, housing, shelters combined. We believe that Black communities, and all communities, deserve better. We are working toward the abolition of the police and toward a society where we can all be safe. While this is focused on law enforcement, we are also calling to defund jails, prisons, immigration detention centres, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), and the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA).
We are calling for a reinvestment into Black, Indigenous, racialized, impoverished, & other targeted communities. WE [BLM-TO] DEMAND:
DEFUND THE POLICE
- Immediately redirect a minimum of 50 percent of the $1.1 billion TPS budget toward the communities they have devastated by investing in secure, long-term housing for street-involved and unhoused communities, food security programs, public transit, public health, public libraries, and community-led anti-violence programs.
DEMILITARIZE THE POLICE
- End Emergency Task Force (ETF) and Emergency Response Teams (ERT) (similar to the US-based SWAT teams), tactical squads, military grade weapons, and surveillance equipment.
- Remove all weaponry from police and other law enforcement, including tasers, batons, firearms, rubber bullets, tear gas, pepper spray, and sound canons.
- End the mass surveillance of our communities through the use of technologies such as stingray, facial recognition, and predictive policing technologies, drones, robots, and G20 surveillance technology that remained in Toronto.
REMOVE COPS IN SCHOOLS
- Remove police and school resource officers (SROs) in all schools (Public, Catholic, Private, and Post-Secondary) in Toronto.
- Remove police and school resource officers (SROs) in all schools, at all levels, across Canada.
REDUCE SCOPE OF POLICE
- End all special constable programs and all policing on campuses.
- End the policing of public transportation.
- End the policing of minor bylaw infractions and noise complaints.
- End paid-duty policing program (officers for hire by developers, street festivals, etc.).
- End police collaboration with the CBSA.
- Eliminate all stealth police cars and plainclothes operations.
- Eliminate community policing patrols in highly racialized communities.
- End Carding.
DOCUMENT POLICE VIOLENCE
- Mandate the public collection of data regarding police killing, and incidents of police brutality for all local, regional, provincial, and Federal police or law enforcement agency, disaggregated by race, gender, age and citizenship.
DECRIMINALIZE POVERTY, DRUGS, HIV & SEX WORK
- Release and expunge record for all poverty-related charges (including bylaw infractions, solicitation, sleeping outside, public urination, loitering, solicitation).
- Decriminalize drugs, sex work, and HIV status.
- Release and expunge records of all drug-related and sex work charges.
- Create Crisis Intervention and Mad co-lead support teams; work with communities to develop models that work for them.
- Create police-free, community-led, trauma-informed emergency service for mental health/psychiatric distress and other forms of crisis.
- Invest in community support for shelters, drop-ins, after-school programming in low-income, Black, and Indigenous neighborhoods.
- Create restorative services, mental health services, and community-run health centres.
- Invest in harm reduction, including safe supply, safe injection/inhalation sites, and harm-reduction outreach workers.
- Establish a community-based and trauma-informed emergency service for people who have experienced gender-based violence.
- Implement of civilian transportation safety service and better/safer road infrastructure for pedestrians, cyclists and public transit.
- Create a civilian conflict resolution resolution service to replace policing of minor bylaw infractions/noise complaints.
- Provide permanent, secure housing options for all people who need housing.
We the undersigned also demand:
END COLONIALISM – DEFUND THE RCMP
In many parts of Canada the RCMP is not only the federal police force but also the local police. Indigenous people are impacted by both the RCMP’s abuse of force as well as their neglect of Indigenous safety. This is most clear in the case of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two Spirit people (MMIW). The RCMP have historically been central to the colonizing and genocide of the Indigenous peoples. This continues in their everyday work.
- The Federal Government must take immediate steps to defund, demilitarize, disarm, and dismantle the RCMP. This is a key step towards decolonization.
REPEAL CRIMINAL CODE SECTIONS ALLOWING POLICE TO USE DEADLY FORCE
The Criminal Code grants police exceptional rights to brutalize and murder people as part of their daily work. These forms of violence are prohibited for civilians. If this section is not repealed the the police can still legally brutalize, maim and murder people.
- The Federal Government must immediately repeal the relevant sections of the
DISMANTLE SPECIAL CONSTABLES & TTC FARE INSPECTORS
The Police Services Act of Ontario permits Special Constables to have the same powers as police constables. They police Public transit, University campuses, Community housing, court security, at the scene of crime examinations, prisoner transportation and Government security services. Transit users, students, social housing residents, and others have long complained of excessive use of force by these so-called “peace officers.”
- The Provincial Government must immediately dismantle the Ontario Special Constables Program in favour of student, social housing resident and community safety initiatives led by Black, Indigenous, racialized, women and 2SLGBTQ people.
- The Toronto Transit Commission immediately end the Fare Inspector Program without any replacement of fare surveillance and enforcement.
NO POLICE $ TRANSFERS TO CRIMINALIZING, PSYCHIATRIZING INSTITUTIONS
This would simply replace the police with other institutions that are involved in disciplining and punishing people.
- We call on all Government and Police Bodies to ensure that no police funds or powers be transferred to institutional social work, the psychiatric profession, or other agencies involved in racist, sexist, anti-disability, homophobic and/or trans-phobic practices, criminalization, disciplining and/ or psychiatrizing of people.
END ANTI-TRANS VIOLENCE & THE TWO-GENDER BINARY
Police and social institutions are invested in anti-Trans practices and support the two-gender binary.
- We call on all levels of government and police to not transfer funding and jurisdiction to other agencies invested in anti-Trans practices, the two-gender system and gender oppression.
END INEFFECTIVE PRO-POLICE OVERSIGHT
Longstanding community calls for civilian police oversight have not translated into effective accountability for police use of force, killings, or neglect. The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is made of former police officers, it has failed to provide transparency and accountability for racist, sexist, anti-disability, homophobic and Trans-phobic police violence and neglect.
- We call on The Ontario Government to Disband the Special Investigative Unit (SIU).
We undersigned support this statement and its demands
● No Pride in Policing Coalition
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