Halifax police chief denies racial profiling in Borden case

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Halifax police chief denies racial profiling in Borden case

Kayla Borden at the Nova Scotia Police Review Board hearing with city attorney Andrew Gough and Dan Kinsella behind her.

Halifax Regional Police Chief Dan Kinsella once again admitted to a crowded Police Review Board hearing Thursday that systemic racism exists within his service and that ' he is working to eradicate it.

But he added that he does not believe systemic racism has played a role in the ;Kayla Borden case.

We continue to work on the challenge [of systemic racism], the leader said. But I don't see it in any of the evidence presented in this particular case.

Kayla Borden is a black woman who said she was racially profiled during an early morning arrest on July 28, 2020.

The officers who arrested her were looking for a car that had fled from the police earlier. Moments after the arrest, officers realized they had stopped the wrong car. An officer later released her with an apology.

Kayla Borden filed a complaint in 2020, alleging racial profiling by Halifax police. The complaint is now before the Nova Scotia Police Review Board.

Kayla Borden filed a complaint, and an internal police investigation looked into the actions of two of those officers, Jason Meisner and Scott Martin.

The investigation found that the officers committed no wrongdoing. Kayla Borden appealed this decision to the Police Review Board.

Both officers testified before the review board last November.

Then Kayla Borden and her lawyer, Asif Rashid, called the police chief as a witness to ask him about police procedures and officer training on racial profiling.

Dan Kinsella said his department has a number of mandatory systemic racism training courses. He also offers a course called Journey to Change developed specifically to combat anti-Black racism, but it is not yet mandatory.

During his testimony, the Chief of Police spoke directly to Kayla Borden, telling her he was aware that what had happened was impactful.

Police Chief Dan Kinsella prepares to testify before the Nova Scotia Police Review Board in Dartmouth on Thursday.

The shock factor, I totally understand that. And I also understand that the officers at the scene issued an apology, which is very good to know, and from what I understand and believe, that apology was sincere, the chief said.

Dan Kinsella added that he was not present during the arrest and did not speak to officers involved in the arrest. case.

He also said he is generally aware of all complaints received by the service and personally reviews complaints about racial profiling.

But he could not elaborate when a council member asked how many complaints are received per year, or what percentage involve racial bias.

He said nevertheless implied that these numbers are not high.

The words of the chief of police did not satisfy the complainant or her lawyer.

Asif Rashid is the attorney representing Kayla Borden.

It's not enough, recognize that it&#x27 ; was shocking, reacted lawyer Asif Rashid. There has to be a genuine discovery of wrongdoing, and then from there there has to be action.

Her client Kayla Borden felt no sincerity in the chief's testimony. She hopes this call will make a difference.

A difference, not just for me, but for the community, she said. For those it has happened to and even for those it will happen to.

Kayla Borden is not the first to complain about racial profiling in the Halifax-Dartmouth.

Kirk Johnson, right, came to the hearing to support Kayla Borden's cause.

Twenty years ago, professional boxer Kirk Johnson won a five-year battle to have a police check recognized as unjustified and discriminatory. He went through the same police complaint process as Kayla Borden and he came to her hearing to show his support.

Is this what we still do? We are still there, said the puzzled boxer. I can't stop thinking about my children. I have a 17-year-old boy and a 12-year-old boy, and I'm wondering what we can do to keep that from happening again.

Kirk Johnson has represented Canada at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and his landmark case made national headlines.

A Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission ruling in December 2003 concluded that the police had discriminated against Mr Johnson and his friend Earl Fraser, who was also in the car.

The change I thought was coming did not happen, the boxer admitted.

Counsel for all parties will submit their final written submissions by March 7, after which the police will render their decision.

With information from Shaina Luck of CBC< /em>

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