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Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says police misconduct is indefensible

Last Updated Jun 9, 2020 at 12:03 pm PDT

Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair listens to a speaker during a news conference Tuesday June 9, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Summary

Federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says police using excessive force, discrimination need to be held accountable

Blair says he's concerned about a number of instances Indigenous Peoples had violent runs-in with RCMP and local police

OTTAWA — Federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says police officers who use excessive force or appear to be discriminating on the basis of race need to be held to account.

Blair says he is concerned about a number of instances in recent days in which Indigenous Peoples have had violent runs-in with the RCMP and local police.

He says while there is a policy designed to ensure bias-free policing by the RCMP, there needs to be more work done on its relationship with Indigenous communities.

Demands have increased in recent days for a complete overhaul to the way policing works in Canada, alongside a similar debate in the U.S. sparked by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Blair says every part of the country deserves policing services that are accountable and culturally competent.

He says social inequalities, including mental illness and addiction, in society must also be addressed but did not say whether he supports the redirection of policing funds to those issues.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 9, 2020.

The Canadian Press