The BC Civil Liberties Association, Black Lives Matter-Vancouver, Hogan’s Alley Society, Union of BC Indian Chiefs, and WISH Drop-In Centre Society continue to call for an END to police street checks in Vancouver and across BC.
Our next stop is the Vancouver Police Board on Thursday September 17!
On September 17, we will be appearing as a Delegation to the Vancouver Police Board to drive home that the Board must order that police street checks be completely banned.
Banning street checks is a policy matter squarely within the jurisdiction of the Vancouver Police Board. Even if this was an operational decision, the BC Supreme Court has held in Bagnell v Taser International Inc. that “The [Vancouver Police] Board is ultimately responsible for all aspects of policing performed by the Vancouver Police Department, whether they are policy or operational matters.”
Further, under the Police Act, municipal police boards are required to “take into account the priorities, goals and objectives of the council of the municipality.” Section 26(4) of the Act also authorizes municipal police boards to “determine the priorities, goals and objectives of the municipal police department.” On July 22, Vancouver City Council unanimously passed a motion stating Vancouver City Council’s priority is to end the practice of street checks in Vancouver.
This City Council motion in Vancouver, and a similar one in Victoria, came on the heels of our open letter with 68 co-signatory organizations and a petition signed by over 8,000 people calling for an immediate municipal and provincial ban on police street checks.
Ending police street checks is only one part of the many actions needed to end the harms of policing, but it is a necessary part. Street checks are racist, specifically anti-Indigenous and anti-Black, harmful for low-income people, and fundamentally illegal. We need to end them now!
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- Help us get to 10,000 signatures on our petition to ban police street checks. Sign and share before September 15: https://act.bccla.org/banstreetchecks
- If you are a Vancouver-based organization, add your name to our open letter calling for an immediate ban on police street checks. Email [email protected] to add your organization as a signatory to the open letter by September 15.
- Watch the Vancouver Police Board meeting online on September 17, starting at 1 pm: https://vancouver.ca/police/policeboard/Meetings.htm
- Sign up to appear as a Delegation at the Vancouver Police Board Meeting on September 17: https://vancouver.ca/police/policeboard/DelegationPolicy.htm. Please note that delegation spots are likely to be very limited, so email early and strongly consider appearing as a coalition with one representative speaking.
- Send an email to the Vancouver Police Board [email protected]. Emphasize that street checks are a racist, harmful, and illegal police practice that must end in our city. Writing points to consider are available at https://bccla.org/our_work/police-street-checks-faq/. We need your voice; be yourself!