This paper explores police stop and search activities in Canada using data from a 2007 survey of Toronto residents. The paper begins by demonstrating that black respondents are more likely to view racial profiling as a major problem in Canada than whites or Asians. By contrast, white and Asian respondents are more likely to believe that profiling is a useful crime-fighting tool. Further analysis reveals that the black community’s concern with racial profiling may be justified. Indeed, black respondents are much more likely to report being stopped and searched by the police over the past two years than respondents from other racial backgrounds. Blacks are also much more likely to report vicarious experiences with racial profiling. Importantly, racial differences in police stop and search experiences remain statistically significant after controlling for other relevant factors. The theoretical implications of these findings and their meaning within Canada’s multicultural framework are discussed.
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