Chief Saunders vows to remove ‘random’ from profiling, carding practices

WATCH: The new police chief says abolishment of the practice is not likely, but he’s open to dialogue about the controversial issue. Mark Carcasole reports.

TORONTO – Despite being on the job for just a few days, newly minted Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders promised to remove the word “random” from the controversial practice of police profiling and carding.

“There should be no reason why we use the term random in the police lexicon in 2015,” said Saunders during a speech at the 2nd African Canadian Summit held at the Ontario Federation of Labour headquarters Wednesday morning.

READ MORE: Teens decry carding by Toronto police

“I’m going to eliminate the word random through proper training, through proper understanding with the community, with the police officers.”

“It is important that our actions have legitimacy to them. That is something I will be enhancing.”

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During a question and answer period with the summit attendees, Saunders clarified his remarks made last week on carding and “collateral damage” caused by the practice when he was declared chief-designate on April 20.

“The proper term should be social cost. The social cost in which members of the community do not feel they are being treated with dignity and respect,” he said.

WATCH: Newly minted Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders delivered remarks on issues in policing including carding and racial profiling during a speech at the African Canadian Summit.

Saunders said he will conduct a full review of carding practices which many critics decry as inherently racist.

READ MORE: Revised ‘carding’ policy ignored by Toronto police officers: report

“I will not compromise community safety,” Saunders said. “We need to figure out what direction we can go, where we can enhance community safety while at the same time make sure we’re doing it for the right reason.”

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The African Canadian Legal Clinic, Midaynta Community Services, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Canadian Labour Congress have partnered to stage the all-day summit.

Key themes up for discussion include violence reduction, income equality, and jobs in a changing economy.

VIDEO: New Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders spoke on issues in policing, including carding, racial profiling, police use of force, disclosure of non-conviction records and anti-Black hate crimes at the African Canadian Summit Wednesday morning.

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