- RACISM AND ITS IMPACT ON CURRENT WORLD EVENTS
The tragic events in Minneapolis that led to the unjustified death of George Floyd can only be described as reprehensible and contrary to the ethical principles incumbent upon those engaged in policing. We wish to extend our condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Floyd for their loss.
The Ontario Senior Officers’ Police Association and its members are resolute in stating that there is no place in policing for the actions and behaviors displayed by the police officers that led to the killing of Mr. Floyd. The only way to move forward is to acknowledge that racism exists, be courageous and transparent and challenge ourselves to listen and learn from this and other horrific incidents.
As the growing demonstrations for change continue worldwide, we acknowledge that racism is real and alive within our own communities and organizations. We need to look no further than incidents in Ontario within the black and indigenous communities. We acknowledge the hurt and pain that racism has caused within these communities and we pledge to promote reform that supports bias free policing.
We want to be explicitly clear in our stance against racism and any other forms of biases that lead to the unequal treatment of members of the public anywhere. These types of actions and beliefs have no place in policing and only serve to erode the trust and confidence of our citizens.
As senior officers within our respective organizations, I challenge each member to embrace the change that the public is demanding. We must immediately work with our community groups and elected officials to transformatively ensure we serve and better protect each and every member of society equally. As Gandhi said: “Be the change that you want to see in the world”.
The path forward may be challenging. However, we must remain steadfast in our commitment to ensure all members of our society are treated equally regardless of who they are or the circumstances in which they engage with us. No one, regardless of their race, the colour of their skin or their ethnicity, should live in fear of interacting with the police in this Province.
As we observe the protests that are occurring in our communities, I encourage our Association to reflect on the eloquent words of Dr. Martin Luther King who said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.