Peel cops used force 754 times last year in Mississauga and Brampton, 32% involving Black civilians


Published August 26, 2022 at 1:22 pm

Peel police cruiser

Peel Regional Police used force against civilians at least 754 times last year, with 32% of these incidents involving Black civilians, according to PRP’s 2021 Use of Force and Race-Based Data report.

Throughout 2021, officers were called for approximately 273,000 service calls or traffic stops, which police say is consistent with previous years.

Of those total calls, 754 resulted in use of force mostly by front line officers — that includes police aiming or shooting a firearm, using a conducted energy weapon (i.e. taser), or striking with their hands.

The number of injuries related to these incidents has not been confirmed by police at this time.

Compared to the previous year, the data indicates a 6.12% overall decrease in use of force interactions.

There was a 15.7% decrease use of force incidents involving a firearm, but a 6% increase in use of force incidents involving a conducted energy weapon.

Less than 1% of interactions with a person in crisis involved use of force, according to the report.

While Black civilians currently make up 9.9% of Peel’s population (according to 2016 census data), they accounted for 32% of use of force incidents in 2021, a decrease from 35% in 2020.

“In 2021, de-escalation strategies were used as an alternative measure in 88% of incidents prior to force being used,” says the report presented at the Peel Police Services Board Meeting today, Aug. 26.

The following percentages represent de-escalation by race prior to force being used:

  • South Asian: 83.6%
  • East & Southeast Asian: 83.7%
  • Black: 89.2%
  • White: 90.5%
  • Indigenous: 100%

Peel police have acknowledged that there remains work to be done in reducing the racial disparity reflected in these incidents.

According to police, the disparity is driven by multiple factors including officer bias, institutional practices, each person’s reaction to police, and civilian/offender choices.

Racial awareness involving Peel police skyrocketed in 2016 after police handcuffed a 6-year-old Black child at a Mississauga school, an incident which made headlines and generated major backlash. In 2021, the Human Rights Tribunal awarded $35,000 in damages to the child’s family, including damages for psychological and trauma counselling.

Next steps include the continuation of mandatory human rights-focused training for Peel police officers: Procedural Justice Training, Indigenous Awareness Training, and Trauma Informed Approach and Bias Training.

Body-worn cameras were fully implemented for all Peel Regional Police frontline officers in 2021, which police say was essential in building community trust.

In 2021, training on body-worn cameras was provided for 1,000 officers, which included 12,000 hours of comprehension.

More information related to the 2021 Use of Force and Race-Based Data report is available at Peel police’s website.

RELATED: 16 misconduct cases against Mississauga, Brampton officers in 2021

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