Working Group on Minority-Police Relations
Organization profile published 1980
Publisher: The Working Group on Minority-Police Relationsl, Toronto, Canada
Year Published: 1980
Resource Type: Organization
Cx Number: CX2050
Abstract: Racist and bigoted comments began appearing in the Toronto Police Association journal in early 1979. When they came to public attention in the Spring of that year a large public meeting was convened at City Hall. Out of that meeting of several hundred people, a list of demands was developed and a new umbrella organization, the Working Group on Minority-Police Relations was formed.
The Working Group has consistently pushed the Police Commission and the Solicitor- General, Roy McMurtry, to institute badly needed reforms with, predictably only limited success. The key demands have included Metro not Provincial control of the police, an effective citizen review board with its own independent investigators to deal with complaints against the police and better recruitment and training programs for the police.
Because of the insensitivity and even hostility of the Police Commission towards minorities there have been demands that the current members, particularly Phil Givens and Winfield McKay, be replaced with more representatives members of the community.
A number of small changes have been introduced as a result of the efforts of the Working Group. More importantly, the police seem to be acting more carefullly as a result of the pressure applied. The real test, however, will be in the next few months leading up to the trial of the police officers charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of Jamaican immigrant Albert Johnson. If basic reforms are not in place by this time the likelihood is that the gap between the police and the rest of the community will be widened.
This organization no longer exists.
This abstract was published in the Connexions Digest in 1980.