Pubdate: Fri, 02 Aug 2002
Source: Cambridge Reporter, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2002 The Cambridge Reporter
Author: Mike Mace
Bookmark: (Racial Issues)


I am disturbed by the actions of Waterloo Regional Police as reported in 
the article Cops bust into innocent woman's home, in the July 26 edition of 
the Reporter.

I am particularly disturbed because these actions smack of racial profiling 
right here in my community and my neighbourhood. I have some familiarity 
with racial profiling since I currently work as a consultant in Cincinnati, 

For those not familiar with Cincinnati, it is a city charged with racial 
tension. Racial profiling such as DWB (Driving While Black) is normal 
police procedure.

Community relations between the black population and the police are like a 
powder keg caught in the crossfire of a constant flurry of sparks.

Although I do not have access to the information or evidence that provided 
the justification for a search warrant of the Ng residence, I do know that 
Waterloo Regional Police does engage in racial profiling regarding the 
investigation of marijuana home grow operations.

I attended a meeting of my local neighbourhood association this spring 
where a constable from Waterloo Regional Police spoke about marijuana home 
grow operations as part of their community outreach program.

At that time about a dozen marijuana home grow operations had been 
discovered in my neighbourhood. The constable explained how to detect a 
marijuana home grow operation and provided a profile of typical marijuana 
home growers - almost exclusively Vietnamese people living in an upscale, 
middle-class home.

The profile was so blatantly racist that I could not believe that the 
constable would reveal this "intelligence" to the public. It is one thing 
for the police to covertly engage in racial profiling but quite another to 
engage the public in the practice to assist them with their investigations.

Since this latest "bust" happened within the boundaries of my neighbourhood 
association, I can only hope that this community outreach by Waterloo 
Regional Police did not provide the motivation for the information that 
ultimately resulted in this bust.

This was more than a mistake - it was a premeditated act perpetrated 
primarily on the basis of racial profiling while cloaked in the guise of a 
questionable search warrant.

I urge the Ng family to contact a lawyer about bringing a civil suit 
against Waterloo Regional Police - quite clearly their Charter rights have 
been violated in more than one aspect.

I also pledge my personal support to them in this pursuit.

Alas, perhaps Cambridge isn't so different from Cincinnati after all.

Our only hope as citizens is not to let the established power structure get 
away with it.

Mike Mace, Cambridge
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