Carding is the act where police officers in the United States randomly stop citizens in the streets and roads for identity details and documentation of personal details. This act is traced back to 1950s when people were being stopped for personal details documentation especially the African Americans. It earned the name carding because police were given suspect cards to counter check with citizens who are to some extent matching the card details (Naqvi et al. 13). The practice had a notion of reducing contraband activities and even drug peddling in the streets. The practice lost its meaning when ethnicity came to practice and the police in most cases stopped African Americans, and the Latin Americans. Carding in the United Sates has existed for a long period, targeting the African Americans and the Latin Americans, caused by societal prejudice.
According to the new principles on carding in Ontario Province, the police must first inform any citizen who stops for them in the street, and the citizens have the mandate to deny giving their minutiae. The rules were conscripted following massive consultation on how additional protection can be offered to citizens against carding. The rules are automated to take effect from January 1st in spring, and thorough training is expected to be offered to the local police concerning their approach and services to people in the streets. The new rules as well oblige the police must to keep records and statistics of whomever they card. They have to record their age, gender, residence and race of all those who liaise to provide their details annually. This regulation will ensure the police officers at any chance cannot collect your details just because of the neighborhood you live in, your physical appearance or race factor (Banerjee, Stuti, and Singh 15). This canon helps in foiling race-based detail collection and record keeping based on skin color since this looked very disrespectful and in certain circumstances lowers ones self-esteem.
From the new Ontario Province regulations, the police should provide a valid reason for carding a citizen and based on their argument, one may decide to walk away, decline to respond or provide their details on choice. Even though, it is advisable that a polite approach by the police should be given positive feedback. The reason provide by the police for carding according to the new rules should not be dependent on race, or area of abode especially if he or she is from a high crime locality. The police officer must also be in a position to provide all their details like name, a number of their badge and as well instructions vis-à-vis how the office of the Independent Police Review Director can be contacted so that if at any chance, they feel like contacting the officer, they can do so at their own pleasure. Some critics though says that the rules should be implemented immediately, waiting for the coming year is too long. They also suspect that the police offices would try to meddle using the traffic stops to go round the new rules.
The New Democratic MPP also suggested that, the highway traffic police must identify himself at the stop and besides this; they must also give additional details concerning the new dogmas. Howard Morton, a lawyer of the Law Union of Ontario, regarded the new rubrics and regulations a better improvement from the last draft (Banerjee, Stuti, and Singh 15). However, the lawyer said the police can still approach and stop civilians but should never attempt impromptu carding of citizens unless protocols regarding carding observed. However, these may fail to apply in certain cases. A case like when a crime has been committed, the regulation will not prevent arbitrarily and even race slants, checks and stops. Morton said in his mail that the new regulations and rubrics on carding are well defined with exemptions, when these rules fail to apply. Moreover, he said the rules cover more circumstances than before (Naqvi et al. 15). It fails to apply in cases where undercover investigation or warrant is being served.
Despite all these changes, there have been arguments of whether the new regulations rule out all the prior critics and objections from carding. Based on the new regulations anti-racist activists have held a press conference in Ontario Hall with a notion of demanding respect from the police following the new regulations with an immediate effect though they argue that the new policies do not address the issues in details. A critical review of the new regulations pageants some evident loopholes creating chances for police to proceed with their prejudiced carding bustle. The anti-racist coalition says that adoption of the new regulations has minimal influence on the status quo leaving an erroneous impression of the crisis being solved (Roach and Kent 29). The policies would fail to address arbitrary and race-based issues in the new regulations when a special investigation concerning a given crime is being conducted. Taking this rule apart, if these regulations do not come into play when investigating a special investigation, the police would, therefore resort to using this loophole to continue with race profiling and stockings. This indulgent also known as narrow escape provides an arena for the police force to continue with their usual activity. In another case, if the regulation covers collection of details for crime intelligence purposes engaging people who are suspects to some illegal activity, then it means information of people not known though carded will not be recorded. The police will have the chance to card people by an excuse of crime intelligence.
Again, if the new regulations do not apply to instances when police are lawfully compelled to ask IDs from drivers, then the new regulations will not govern the stops of people by police in the roads. Singh, a resident of Ontario, says that out the 11 times he has been carded; only one instance would be prohibited by the new regulations. He goes ahead to say that because of him being African America in the city, he is a regular target as he drives. He says on many occasions, he is stopped for no traffic offense but just for a general investigation.
On the arbitrary regulations, police should not card someone based on their racial group. An exception is whereby, there is a criminal on the look, and he or she comes from that racial group. It, therefore, means the police are allowed to card members of that particular racial group to find the criminal (Roach and Kent 32). The police would therefore easily dodge the arbitrary regulation by saying that a known suspect is on the look and he or she comes from that particular racial group. Lastly, a critical view of the new regulations shows that it contains several loopholes, which gives an opportunity to the police force to continue with their arbitrary and racial based carding in the United States.
In summary, carding is a major crisis facing different races in the United States. The police have been on the move for quite a long period harassing the racial groupings within the United States. It is high time the government put up rules, which can help reduce these activities. Acute analysis of the new regulations shows several loopholes, mentioned above are just a few of them. However, the rules can be amended to carter for the loopholes. It is of great importance for the government to consider amending the rules to ensure we have a free nation for everyone.
Banerjee, Stuti. “Jagmeet Singh: New Leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party.” (2017). Pp 15-25.
Naqvi, Dear Minister. “RE: Abolish Police” Street Checks” to Safeguard Human Rights and Improve Health.” (2015). Pp 12-17.
Roach, Kent. “Models of Civilian Police Review: The Objectives and Mechanisms of Legal and Political Regulation of the Police.” Crim. LQ 61 (2014): 29-32.