Police Chief and Mayor OK with carding

Retiring Chief Bill Blair and Rob Ford replacement, Mayor John Tory

Backgrounder: “Carding” describes the police practice of stopping people on the street, questioning them and documenting the encounter although there is nothing criminal going on. Police Chief Bill Blair was told by the Police Board to stop the practice. It was affecting a disproportionate number of black and brown-skinned people. After being “carded” a person is known to police even though they have done nothing wrong.

Chief Blair refused to stop. The Police Board, on which the new Mayor now sits, caved. They tweaked the rules slightly but are allowing police to continue the practice. Charter of Rights challenges are expected. Political protests are already underway. A new chief might order his force to stop carding, but that alone will not restore civilian control of police. Can the chief just ignore the Police Board?