Is There Racial Discrimination in Police Stop-and-Searches of Black Youth? A Toronto Case Study

Yunliang Meng, Sulaimon Giwa, Uzo Anucha


Our study investigated racial profiling of Black youth in Toronto and linked this racial profiling to urban disadvantage theory, which highlights neighbourhood-level processes. Our findings provide empirical evidence suggesting that because of racial profiling, Black youth are subject to disproportionately more stops for gun-, traffic-, drug-, and suspicious activity-related reasons. Moreover, they show that drug-related stop-and-searches of Black youth occur most excessively in neighbourhoods where more White people reside and are less disadvantaged, demonstrating that race-and-place profiling of Black youth exists in police stop-and-search practices. This study shows that the theoretical literature in sociology on neighbourhood characteristics can contribute to an understanding of the relationship between race and police stops in the context of neighbourhood. It also discusses the negative impact of racial profiling on Black youth.

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Canadian Journal of Family and Youth / Le Journal Canadien de Famille et de la Jeunesse
2008-2014 | ISSN 1718-9748