Toronto - Today, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) released From Impact to Action, the final report on its inquiry into anti-Black racism by the Toronto Police Service (TPS). The report includes over 100 recommendations for meaningful actions to improve outcomes for Black communities when interacting with the TPS.
From Impact to Action makes the finding that Black people are subjected to systemic racial discrimination, racial profiling, and anti-Black racism by the TPS and the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB). The finding is supported by evidence gathered throughout the inquiry, including data analysis and consultations with Black communities. This finding confirms the need for change to challenge longstanding practices, which perpetuate anti-Black racism in Toronto policing.
The final report describes the results of consultation with Black communities and policing stakeholders and identifies gaps in TPS and TPSB policies and procedures including stops and searches, charges and arrests, use of force, anti-racism initiatives and monitoring, and accountability mechanisms.
“I am grateful to the many Black communities, individuals, police officers and experts who provided input to make this report and its recommendations comprehensive,”
said Patricia DeGuire, OHRC’s Chief Commissioner. “Their openness and diligence were essential in delivering the final report and evidence-based practices which, if followed, will enable a cultural transformation within TPS.”
The OHRC’s recommendations include:
- purging the TPS database of photographs, fingerprints or other biometric information from charges that do not result in convictions
- requiring supervisory approval and/or equity audits of charges
- revising policies and procedures to clearly set out circumstances where unnecessary force should not be used
- expanding the collection, analysis and reporting of race-based data on stop, searches, charges, arrests and use of force
- providing greater transparency on officer discipline
- taking proactive investigative steps following tribunal or court decisions that contain findings of racial profiling, racial discrimination or violations of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms
- integrating scenario-based training on anti-Black racism into other training programs with effective evaluation
- developing a distinct policy or procedure on racial profiling
- supporting calls to expand civilian-led mental health crisis response services
The OHRC acknowledges the positive steps the TPS and TPSB have taken to address anti-Black racism and discrimination in policing since the start of the inquiry. The Commission is committed to continued engagement with the TPS and TPSB to work towards implementing the recommendations through legally binding and specific actions.
“The Ontario Human Rights Commission has produced an extensive, ground-breaking report documenting racial bias within the Toronto Police Service, and their analysis has led to the development of evidence-based recommendations. Since the release of OHRC’s interim report, A Disparate Impact, the TPS has enacted more meaningful reforms on important issues, including race-based data collection, than anytime during the previous three decades. I am cautiously optimistic that, if adopted, the OHRC's recommendations will help reduce systemic racism, improve public transparency and police oversight, and begin to foster a relationship of trust between the TPS and Toronto’s Black communities.”
--Dr Scot Wortley, Professor, Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto
- Started in 2017, the goal of this inquiry was to build trust between the Toronto police and Black communities by empirically studying Toronto policing to pinpoint problem areas that result in anti-Black racism, and to make strong recommendations to address the roots of these issues.
- This final report is the culmination of six and a half years of work and extensive consultations with Toronto’s Black communities, policing experts, academics and expert findings by Dr. Scot Wortley, a professor and researcher at the University of Toronto Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies.
- On December 10, 2018, the OHRC released its first interim report, A Collective Impact, which included Dr. Wortley’s findings from Special Investigations Unit (SIU) data, case-law review, a review of the SIU Director Reports, and the results of the OHRC’s consultation with 130 members of Black communities across Toronto.
- On August 10, 2020, the OHRC released its second interim report, A Disparate Impact, which included two reports from Dr. Wortley analyzing TPS data related to charges, arrests and releases, and police use of force.
- Some of the OHRC’s recommendations will require action at the provincial level. The OHRC recommends that the TPSB engage with the provincial government to review processes and amend legislation to address issues such as over-charging and crisis response.
- Backgrounder: Key findings from the OHRC inquiry into anti-Black racism in the Toronto Police Service
- From Impact to Action: Final report into anti-Black racism in the Toronto Police Service (full report)
- From Impact to Action: Executive Summary
- From Impact to Action: Recommendations
Adewonuola Johnson – Issues and Media Relations Officer
Ontario Human Rights Commission