I met for a second time with Mayor Lisa Helps and for the first time with Acting Police Chief Del Manak in regards to very serious concerns regarding the human rights issue of the use of Red Zones in the control of some Canadian Citizens. This relates to bylaw ticketing which can turn into warrants and further into Red Zoning restrictions.
I went over most of this list below with Lisa Helps and Del Manak today, I emailed the list to them as Deputy Chief Manak will be doing follow up with us come September, we are in process of booking that now.
Boma Brown from VIPIRG, Vancouver Island Public Interest Research Group attended both meetings and we will be making a time to meet again sometime in September for follow up and begin to get VICPD’s feedback to the below questions.
Deputy Chief and I both seemed to agree that officers ought to NOT be dealing with certain social situations that myself and many other citizens beleive we as community are perfectly capable of dealing with without police presence.
He spoke of being open to hearing from folks who were Red Zoned or ones where it was attempted and the person did not accept one.
Many beleive Red Zones are a human rights issue and we need to pay attention. Red Zoning Practices speak to social profiling specifically around class and race. Its a big issue most are not wanting to deal with directly. Red Zoning is used against the homeless pretty much in all cases. Social profiling based on class stature occurs daily in Victoria and its getting worse.
It is occurring.
Here are some questions I put together with the help of many across Canada regarding Red Zoning Practice, in this case specifically by VICPD.
I pulled these questions from a lot of other people’s work including in Toronto and Vancouver, we at the CTEHV also inspired a Police Conduct Study which VIPIRG took on and many were a part of including homeless folks. I drew from a lot of other people’s work in my personal research over this past few years on red zoning concerns.
What is your officers’ involvement in imposing, advocating for and policing “red zones”?
How many people are red zoned out of areas where there are shelters, free food, harm reduction equipment every year? (Pandora, Johnson, etc…)
How many times a year does those red zones result in people being arrested or having charges recommended for breach of their conditions?
How does your leadership ensure that red zones are not recommended, imposed or enforced in a way that prohibits people from accessing the necessities of life such as shelter, food, and community?
What is the statistical breakdown between people who are red zoned (from entire areas – not just one address) who have no fixed address as opposed to people who have housing?
The impression exists that it is mostly people living in poverty and engaging in criminal activity to meet their basic human needs or to feed an addiction who are subject to red zones. Has the police force ever correlated red zoning to income of those subjected to them? How is the police force ensuring that they are not socially profiling and over criminalizing people based on poverty?
It seems that red zones don’t stop people from needing shelter, food, services – just like abstinence conditions don’t stop people from having addictions – how do police ensure that they are not forcing people (through their enforcement of red zones) to shelter, use drugs, etc in more remote/dangerous locations or share injection equipment if red zoned away from harm reduction services?
Do your officers engage in stop-and-checks of peoples ID to assess whether they may be in breach of conditions? (These would be stops that aren’t based on reasonable probable grounds that someone committed a crime, they are usually pitched as officers asking if people will ‘voluntarily’ show their ID, many people are unaware of their rights in these situations).
I asked for a photo and we kind of went thru a series before we laughed out loud, I decided to show them all, in the end, we are all human and laugh. I see this as a good sign of change to come.
Here is Will to talk about his Red Zoning:
Here is June 8th Illegal Search of Tent City, VICPD was seeking a dead body / injured body, they still have not found it.
PS: THERE IS NO GANG ACTIVITY AT SIC.