EXCLUSIVE: Time for change: Few think our criminal justice system treats people equally

JUSTICE

A NEWSTALK 1010 exclusive poll finds only three in 10 Canadians think our criminal justice system treats people who are black or dark skinned equally compared to others in our society.

The polling, conducted by DART & maru/BLUE, also finds a large number of people have some serious concerns.

27% believe a large number of their local community police unfairly, discriminately, racially profile black and dark-skinned citizens.

22 % believe they rough up suspects, especially if they are black/dark skinned or from certain neighbourhoods, during arrests.

30% believe they unfairly, discriminately, treat indigenous people.

"That's a condemning rebuke of our entire system and how we deal with people who are marginalized, visible minorities," says pollster John Wright.

He believes the data shows that this is no longer an issue for one group. "We have all strata of our society, from young to old to all variations who are engaged now."

The question remains, what will be done to address this issue?

"You don't have weeks of protest without some substantive change. The question right now is, where is the leadership going to come to address those issues?" Wright says.

While there is clearly room for improvement, the polling found most Canadians, 86%, think police in this country do a better job than those in the U.S.

The poll was conducted among 1,515 randomly selected Canadian adults who are members of maru/BLUE's Online panel on June 3 and is considered accurate to within +/- 3.9 percentage points.