June 22nd, 2020

NDP releases commitments to end police violence, overhaul mental health crisis response, and invest in Black, Indigenous and racialized communities

QUEEN’S PARK — The Ontario NDP has laid out its commitments for overhauling policing and police oversight, tackling systemic racism, and making mental health crisis response safer, especially for Black, Indigenous and racialized people.

“Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Rodney Levi, Chantel Moore, Stewart Kevin Andrews, Jason Collins, Eishia Hudson, Caleb Tubila Njoko, D’Andre Campbell and Ejaz Choudry. These people were loved, and should be here today,” said NDP Anti-Racism critic Laura Mae Lindo.

“These folks were all Black, Indigenous or people of colour, and most of them lived with mental health challenges and were in crisis when police arrived. Calling for help or experiencing a mental health crisis should not be a death sentence. Being Black, Indigenous or racialized should not make you more likely to die during an interaction with police. But we’re not going to change that reality until we have the political will to seize this moment, and tackle systemic racism in policing.”

End Police Violence. Invest in Black, Indigenous and Racialized People’s Lives: An Ontario NDP Commitment to Action includes a plan to:

  • Overhaul police oversight, including compelling police to participate in investigations into police actions, and allowing unpaid suspensions
  • Demilitarize police forces by diverting spending on military-grade hardware, including tear gas and assault rifles, into community services. Tear gas has been banned in war zones by the Chemical Weapons Convention since 1997.
  • End carding and destroy data collected through this unconstitutional practice
  • Transfer responsibility to, and investing in, alternative first responders to respond to mental health, addictions, homelessness and school discipline issues
  • Give elected representatives the support and power to determine how policing budgets are spent
  • Invest heavily in programs and supports that address the social and economic factors that influence people’s health

Link to policy paper: https://www.ontariondp.ca/end-police-violence