It has been a very violent first month of the year in Toronto, but the head of the Police Association seems convinced it didn’t have to be that way.
As of January 31st, there were nine murders in the city. In the latest incident, two people were shot and killed in Chinatown early Sunday morning.
Mike McCormack says because of changes made to street checks, or carding, officers aren’t able to engage with the public as they used to, and as a result, aren’t able to thoroughly investigate crimes.
“Everybody expects police officers to go out there and investigate people and get information because that’s part of our job. It has to be done legally, respectively and not random but we still need that information. And right now, it’s a paralysis of policy. We don’t have any direction while we’re waiting for the province, so right now our members aren’t doing it. We’ve been talking about violence going up, and these shootings going up for months and months. This is not a trend, this is not a blip or one-offs; this continues to happen.” -Mike McCormack, head of the Toronto Police Association on The John Oakley Show.
“What I am hearing from our members who are in Guns and Gangs, and other investigative units, is that they’re not getting the intelligence to do these investigations to preempt, and to get these people off the streets with guns.”
When asked by Oakley if there’s a direct link to the carding issue, McCormack responded “I do, I do.”
Last September, The Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario ruled police street checks were illegal and “a form of arbitrary detention contrary to section 9 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”