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Systemic racism exists in Canadian police: Commissioner - Ottawa News

Ottawa, June 13 (IANS) Systemic racism exists in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), said the forces's Commissioner Brenda Lucki, after she had earlier "struggled" to define the term.

Updated Jun 13, 2020 09:27 AM

Systemic racism exists in Canadian police: Commissioner - Ottawa News

"I did acknowledge that we, like others, have racism in our organization, but I did not say definitively that systemic racism exists in the RCMP," CBC News quoted Lucki as saying in a statement on Friday, adding:."I should have.

"As many have said, I do know that systemic racism is part of every institution, the RCMP included. Throughout our history and today, we have not always treated racialized and Indigenous people fairly."

Lucki said that, as Canada's top cop, she has a responsibility to ensure the force is "free of racism, discrimination and bias".

Since the May 25 death of the unarmed black man George Floyd in police custody in the US, police in North America have been facing greater scrutiny about their treatment of minorities and use of violence.

In the last two weeks, the RCMP has faced questions about some questionable conduct caught on camera, said the CBC News reported.

On Thursday night, a video surfaced of RCMP officers punching Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam and putting him in a chokehold outside of a casino.

The officer said the chief was resisting arrest. Adam was stopped for driving with expired plates.

In Friday's statement, the Commissioner vowed to "work hard to address" systemic racism and "overcome it".

Menwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has defended Lucki in recent days, saying he trusts the Commissioner to lead the force at this time, CBC News reported.

Trudeau had appointed Lucki to the job in March 2018.

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