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Toronto Police Service Launches ‘Know Your Rights’ Campaign

TORONTO, ON - JULY 24, 2016: Toronto Police officer on July 24, 2016. Andrew Lahodynskyj/Toronto Star

TORONTO (March 29, 2021) The Toronto Police Service (TPS) and the Police and Community Engagement Review (PACER) Committee have officially launched its Know Your Rights campaign dedicated to informing the public about their legal rights and a police officer’s responsibilities during various types of engagements. Given the historical impact of carding on Black, Indigenous, and racialized communities, the campaign aims to provide information to the public about what their legal rights are when engaging with police during Regulated Interactions (guided by Ontario Regulation 58/16), and the Trespass to Property Act. Carding was banned by the Provincial government in 2017. “Know Your Rights gives communities the tools to demystify dialogue with our police officers,
and clarifies the misperceptions that all parties may bring to all types of engagement,” said James Ramer, Interim Chief of the Toronto Police Service. “The TPS is grateful to our PACER community partners for their guidance in helping us to meet communities where they are, and we look forward to more work together.”
“Know Your Rights provides clear, readily available information to the public and informs people of their legal right to engage or disengage when they encounter members of the TPS,” said Knia Singh J.D., Know Your Rights Committee Co-Chair. “With the past experiences surrounding carding, this video campaign represents a positive attempt to ensure the public and the police share a legal understanding of what your rights are when interacting with police.” The Know Your Rights campaign rolls out in the community and online with content available on
popular social media platforms and sites including Instagram, Tik Tok, and Facebook. It sets the stage to move toward better outcomes between Black, Indigenous, and racialized communities and the police.
The Know Your Rights website is available here, and the Know Your Rights video is available on YouTube.

Toronto Police officer on July 24, 2016. Andrew.

The PACER 2.0 Committee, co-chaired by Superintendent Stacy Clarke and Audrey Campbell, is comprised of both officers and civilian members including Acting Deputy Chief Myron Demkiw; Superintendent Pauline Gray; Inspector Kelly Skinner; Yvette Blackburn (Global Jamaica Diaspora Council, GJDC – Canadian Representative); Jennifer Chambers Executive Director of the Empowerment Council, and long standing advocate for improvements to police response when dealing with persons in crisis; Dave D’Oyen; Stephen Linton; Stephen McCammon (Legal Counsel, Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario); John O’Dell, and Knia Singh (Principal Lawyer, Ma’at Legal Services). Under the leadership of co-chairs Inspector Skinner and Mr. Singh, a sub-committee was formed with Ms. Blackburn, Ms. Chambers, Mr. Linton, and Mr. McCammon, with a focus to deliver a Know Your Rights campaign.

Kimesha Walters is an Associate with Konvo Media.

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