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Halifax councillor concerned that RCMP still considers street checks a useful policing tool

Lindell Smith says while an apology would have been a good gesture, there's a bigger problem for the RCMP when it comes to street checks
District8_Smith
Halifax councillor Lindell Smith. (via Halifax.ca)

The councillor for north end Halifax says that the RCMP still uses street checks and considers it a useful tool on a national level is more of a worry than the force's decision to not apologize for its use in Nova Scotia. 

Lindell Smith's comments follow councillor Shawn Cleary's assertion last week that he wants the RCMP out of Halifax for its failure to apologize. 

Halifax Regional Police issued an apology nearly two years ago, acknowledging the disproportionate impact street checks have had on the African Nova Scotian community. A report found black people were six times more likely to be stopped by police than white people, and the province outlawed the practice not long after. 

Smith says there's a bigger problem that won't be solved by just saying "sorry". 

"It's not going to create policy, it's just a good gesture," Smith said. "When you hear that still national RCMP are saying street checks are a useful policing tool, and there's so many reports by very qualified people who have various experience within policing and they're saying it's not a very useful tool, it's very concerning."

Nova Scotia RCMP has said the service will abide by the provincial ban on street checks, but RCMP national policy continues to support the practice. 

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