Calgary police practices questioned following George Floyd protests – Calgary


As hundreds of cities across North America continue to protest police brutality against blacks, the practices of the Calgary Police Service are called into question – especially on restricting people in the same way as George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis in May. 25.

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“We would not expect our officers to compress their necks in this situation. Generally speaking, we train our officers – if they want to hold someone down like that – to put their weights or legs on their upper backs, “said Calgary police chief Mark Neufeld on Friday. .

“Now let’s face it, sometimes if people resist, this interaction can be dynamic, but certainly, I don’t think that’s what we saw in Minneapolis. “

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Neufeld said the police model in the United States is different from that in Canada.

“The officers feel, I think, a certain amount of frustration at being grouped into a group or a category. Again, I think the model we have here in Canada and in Alberta speaks for itself. I think we are in a very good position with our relationships with our community and I think it shows in some of the things we see around people being heard to make their voices heard, “he said.

“I think it’s a difficult time. I think we all appreciate that what happened in Minneapolis and what happened in other cases is inappropriate and we are all working to prevent these things from happening. I think we are actually closer than many people probably think. ”

Calgary police discuss recent Black Lives Matter protests in the city

Calgary police discuss recent Black Lives Matter protests in the city

The Rocky Mountain Civil Liberties Association, which studied patents based on skin color – finding that controls were disproportionately greater in neighborhoods with more people of color and poor – said it was possible to remove these practices from the police as a whole.

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“The solution for police services to improve and improve and to eliminate structural racism is that someone will have to work with them to absolutely ensure that policies, procedures and structures change,” said the president. Kelly Ernst.

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He said the police force in Calgary has changed a lot in the past few decades – but that doesn’t mean that the service cannot improve.

“I hope the Calgary Police Service tries to listen to this loud and clear and really does a review of their practices so that things that happen in the United States or things that have happened historically don’t repeat themselves . here in Calgary, “said Ernst.

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Following the use of force review in 2018, the Calgary police have changed the way they interact with the racialized population of Calgary.

The force said in a Facebook message on June 3 that it was providing new recruits with 30 hours of mandatory training on “sensitivity to the diverse needs of Calgarians, unbiased police and de-escalation situations through communication opened”.

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Calgary police kneel in solidarity with Black Lives Matter protesters on Monday, June 1, 2020.

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CPC stated that officers should undergo continuing education each year.

“They are currently required to retrain and demonstrate competence in the high-risk use of force, such as firearms (every six months) and the use of conductive energy weapons (every two years ), “Says the report.

“This year, we are expanding the mandatory annual retraining to include de-escalation techniques and the full range of physical control tactics. This will ensure that officers are always equipped with the latest best practices to reduce the use of force during appeals and minimize the level of force used if it has to be applied. ”

Supt. Leah Barber of CPC Diversity Unit said the service offers a variety of levels of officer training, including an Aboriginal component.

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“We teach them about different cultures in Calgary, and then we have different, unbiased training that we offer online and in person,” she said, adding that the following levels explore a deeper cultural awareness.

“We also have advisory boards, in which each of our diversity portfolios uses community members who are ready to step in and help us as a service to do better.”

Thousands march on Calgary streets in protest against police violence and racism

Although CPA has improved its community policing in recent years, Ward 5 Coun. George Chahal said more could be done.

“I represent a very diverse community and there [are] a lot of concerns in the community and the interactions they have had for a number of years looking to see how we can improve collaboration with the Calgary Police Service to keep our communities safe ” , did he declare.

Chahal plans to bring the conversation on racial violence to the Public Safety Task Force, which he chairs.

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“This is an opportunity and an avenue to deal with violence in our city,” he said, adding that the task force is focused on guns and gangs.

“Systemic racism is also an important part of this discussion that we will have over the next few months. ”

– With Adam Toy files from Global News

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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