KILLING CARDING: The deadly toll of putting street checks on ice

As police across the GTA progressively stopped doing street checks over the past five years, gun violence and murders spiked violently, statistics obtained by the Sun through the Freedom of Information Act show.

Back in 2013, when the controversial practice known as carding was increasingly coming under fire over racial profiling concerns, Toronto police conducted 196,907 street checks — a year that saw 22 gun murders.

In the five years that followed, street checks dropped precipitously — first to 17,001 in 2014 and virtually none in subsequent years.

The city’s cops simply all but stopped making street checks.

Toronto police have conducted  a single street check in 2018, 25 in 2017 and none in each of the two previous years.

Meanwhile, gun violence over that time has escalated rapidly in Toronto, and in Peel after the former Liberal government slapped province-wide restrictions slapped on street checks that resulted in that force curtailing street checks.

And many police sources maintain the ongoing lack of community engagement — amplified by the disbanding of the proactive TAVIS program — has emboldened criminals and is a major reason gun violence is heating up across the GTA.

Homicides at 81 this year are headed toward a new record in Toronto, 42 of them gun murders — almost double the rate seen in 2013.

“The city is in crisis and I don’t understand how anyone can deny it,” retired Staff-Insp. Mike Earl, who headed up the Holdup Squad until last year, said recently.

“The bad guys are running the streets.”

“The provincial regulations need to be revised,” he added. “The longer they wait, the worse it’s going to be.”

Not since 2007, when there were 86 murders with 44 by guns, has Toronto endured so many killings in a single year.

https://torontosun.com/news/local-news/killing-carding-the-deadly-toll-of-putting-street-checks-on-ice