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Alberta's top Mountie changes mind on systemic racism

Last Updated Jun 13, 2020 at 8:25 am PDT

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Curtis Zablocki announces the charges laid against a semi truck driver involved in the Humboldt bus crash during a press conference at at RCMP Depot in Regina on Friday, July 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Bell
Summary

Alberta's RCMP Deputy Commissioner Curtis Zablocki has changed his mind on systemic racism being a problem in policing

He came to the opposite conclusion after speaking to community, Indigenous leaders, other officers, other police chiefs

This comes after video surfaced depicting the violent arrest of a northern Alberta First Nation chief

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – After saying earlier in the week that he does not think systemic racism is a problem in policing in Canada, Alberta’s Deputy Commissioner is doing an about-face.

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Curtis Zablocki says he has since spoken to many people, including the indigenous community and RCMP colleagues about racism and says he now believes differently.

“These have been conversations that have challenged my perceptions and made it clear that systemic racism does exist in the RCMP.”

Zablocki says there’s a lot of work to be done in policing, especially in challenging unconscious bias.

The lawyer group Criminal Trial Lawyers Association of Alberta was among those calling for Zablocki’s resignation due to the comments.

The RCMP commissioner would not talk about the violent arrest caught on video of Chief Allan Adam in Fort McMurray because he does not want to interfere with the ASIRT investigation.

 

– With files from The Canadian Press