The OHRC’s work on racism and racial profiling has been a driving force in its partnership with the Toronto Police Services Board on the Toronto Police Charter Project.
The OHRC also intervened at the Tribunal in a complaint by Ron Phipps – a case which raised some tough issues. The Tribunal ruled Phipps had been subjected to racial profiling in 2005 by a Toronto police officer. The officer stopped Phipps when he was delivering mail in an affluent Toronto neighbourhood, checked with a homeowner Phipps spoke to, trailed him and checked his identity with a White letter carrier.
The Tribunal said that although there was no overt racism, racial profiling had occurred. Although this incident happened five years ago, it serves as an important reminder that racial profiling exists and is not acceptable in policing or security. It confirms that racial profiling can be a systemic act that people are not even aware they may be doing, showing the challenges out there for those with a mandate to eliminate it.