Smith: If we want to end systemic racism, let’s get serious about tracking police misconduct

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If you don’t get woozy after watching Kafi’s face smash into the floor — and it kept me up all night after seeing it — you should watch the full video right to the end where someone comes in to mop up the pool of blood.

Because while Dunn’s actions were discreditable enough to warrant a suspension and a court action, you may be heartened to see that the actions of the other four attending officers were admirable and kind.

In talking about the incident during our regular call-in segment, I was dismayed to hear people ask, “Would we even be talking about this if it was a 26-year-old white woman?” To which I responded, “Would it have happened if it was a 26-year-old white woman?”

Would a car with two white passengers be pulled over for turning on a yellow light?

Would a white woman in the passenger seat have been asked to produce ID?

Would a white woman have been hauled to the station if she told the officer she missed curfew because she was braiding hair with a friend?

Would a white woman have had her face slammed to the floor by a male officer?

I think this is an example of the systemic racism Black activists keep telling us about.

How widespread is this problem? I can’t tell you because the Professional Standards Section does a rotten job of giving any meaningful information on officer conduct.

Check out the 2019 Annual Statistical Report and appendix to see what I mean.

There are 2,231 sworn members of the Calgary Police Service and there were 1,256 complaints in 2019. That’s one complaint for every two officers. They go to great pains to track whether the complaint was internal or external, how long the file was open, whether the file was formally investigated or went to alternative dispute resolution. All perfectly meaningless, useless information.

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