Ottawa police pull over higher rate of Middle Eastern and black drivers: report

By Jeff Lagerquist
CTV News | October 24, 2016

Ottawa Police are pulling over Middle Eastern and black drivers — especially young men — far more often than other groups relative to their population in the city, according to a report analyzing traffic stops over a two year period.

Researchers at York University looked at 81,902 traffic stops between 2013 and 2015 where officers were asked to approximate the driver’s race, sex, and age, as well the reason for the traffic stop and the outcome.

The data revealed that drivers perceived to be Middle Eastern accounted for 12.3 per cent of the stops, about 3.3 times what you would expect based on their proportion of Ottawa’s population. Those thought to be black accounted for 8.8 per cent of the stops, roughly 2.3 times higher than anticipated based on population size.

. . .

“There are some serious concerns given the disproportionate number of individuals who have been stopped,” said Ihsaan Gardee, the executive director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims.

He says racial profiling is “a phenomenon we know exists,” but questions the extent to which it impacted the results of the study.

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