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Black Lives Matter group not impressed with ‘carding’ ban in Ontario

Ontario introduces new carding regulations for cops across province
WATCH: The Community Safety Minister aims for balance between protecting citizens’ rights and aiding police investigations. Mark Carcasole reports.

Black Lives Matter activists say Ontario’s plan to ban the use of police ‘carding’ or random street checks doesn’t go far enough.

“This piece of document that they put out is an embarrassing piece of document,” said organizer Yusra Khogali.

“It is absolutely disgusting because what has been happening to the Black community will continue to happen.”

Starting Jan. 1, 2017, police must tell people they have a right not to talk with them, and refusing to co-operate or walking away cannot then be used as reasons to compel information.

READ MORE: Provincial ban on carding criticized by community activists and police

However, police can gather personal information during routine traffic stops, when someone is being arrested or detained, or when a search warrant is executed.

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The activist group says the new regulations fail short of eliminating carding and questions why carding data continues to be collected.

“There hasn’t been any part of this document that has mentioned the data that they’ve been collecting, the abundant cache of data of innocent civilians that have been harassed by police that have been collected by them,” said Khogali.

“What have they been using that data for? This is a violation of our community.”

The Liberal government said it wanted to ban arbitrary stops after hearing from people of colour and aboriginal men and women, who said the Human Rights Code was being ignored by police who stopped them for no apparent reason.

The Black Lives Matter group have been camped out in front of Toronto police headquarters since Monday.

READ MORE: Mental health, carding records can’t be disclosed in police record checks in Ontario

The activists have been protesting a number of issues including the decision by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) to clear a Toronto police officer of any wrongdoing in the shooting death of 45-year-old Andrew Loku.

Protestors are also upset at city officials for reducing the popular Afrofest music festival at Woodbine Park from a two-day event to just a single day.

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But Wednesday night Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon’s office announced an agreement had been reached to keep the two-day format.

-With a file from The Canadian Press