Youth advisor statements (2017)

Youth advisor statements

November 30, 2018

Hairstory - Youth advisor 1

Hi my name is Anonymous (not sure if we were suppose to state names) I felt like it was very important for me to speak today on behalf of my community and other black youth because carding and police harassment has been a very frequent issue for my brothers and I growing up in the city of Toronto. 

I have faced experiences where I've been stopped for no complete reason just walking to and from home and school or just to hang out and play basketball with friends. I am also not here to play the victim and make it seem as if I haven't been in situations with the police for being at the wrong place at the wrong time or with the wrong group of people but I would say in those situations that I've seen human beings treated poorly and disrespected as if they had no rights.

I saw police officers run out with there guns drawn on my brothers and I and if anyone had any pending cases within the justice system or if they were on probation they would tell the rest of us to allow them to search us or they would charge the youth with a fail to comply charge for no complete reason and of course we would allow them to search us so that our peer doesn't receive a charge for nothing that would be disappointing to his parent that the police seem to forget about we are humans with family members who love us and it breaks their hearts to hear that their children or brother and sister have gotten into trouble with the law for something such as defending himself from injustice.

A situation I recall back in high school is when my friends were playing basketball competing and having fun when the Tavis police rode there bikes by and stopped the basketball game to get everyones information as they used to do on a daily basis my friend felt as if he shouldn't have to stop his basketball game for this unwelcomed interruption and was tired of the unlawful acts of the police when he decided to stand up and say “no i will not stop playing no one has committed a crime and you guys are wasting our time and yours” when he decided to stand up the police officers have decided that they did not like to see a young black man that knows his rights stand up to them and proceeded to make an example out of him by holding him down behind a gate and beating him up.

I don't know what they were trying to accomplish but to me it seems that if they can break down the courageous one the rest of the group would never stand up to them again. This impacted my brothers and I in a way that made us feel powerless and inhumane. we felt like we weren't an important part of society and shouldn't bother to make something of ourselves because the police had the power to take our joy away anyways.

I wouldn't say that carding only had a negative  impact although they mostly have negative outcomes since that day my friend has been motivated to make something of himself and went to the US to pursue his basketball career through a scholarship stating he never wants something like that to happen to him again so their attempt to break his spirit was a failure they ended up igniting the flame and that same flame inspired me to never settle for less in life and strive for greatness.

Since the carding law has been changed in January I haven't personally faced any unjust treatment by any law enforcement I have heard from my peers that they have still been stopped for no reason and have been given excuses for reason why they have been a target for discussion but they still believe said excuses were just a run around tactic so that police can engage in conversation and receive their information.

Hairstory- Youth advisor 2

Police officers have questioned me if “this is my neighborhood” & “is this my car” when I was on my way to a casting, they told me to show them all my information when I did nothing wrong was going the speed limit.

I was driving my mom’s red Kia Optima. (Nice car right?!), asking me to pop the trunk of the car.

So what you’re telling me is: ‘black youth and adults can’t drive nice cars?’

We must stop the practice of racial profiling in Toronto. Is it correct for Police Officers in Toronto to stop a black youth driver for an alleged traffic offense to question and sometimes search the black driver?

I feel the police think of us as criminals and that we are all the same when we are not.