B.C. RCMP responds to the killing of George Floyd by Minnesota police - InfoNews

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B.C. RCMP responds to the killing of George Floyd by Minnesota police

June 04, 2020 - 5:21 PM

The Deputy Commissioner of the B.C. RCMP has released a statement in response to the global demonstrations that have broken out in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota.

In the statement, the B.C. RCMP Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Strachan says the RCMP is deeply saddened and its members and staff are unsettled by the events in the U.S. and what happened to George Floyd. He was killed while being restrained by four officers, including one who kept his knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

"We understand that there is an increased focus on how we address racism and biased-free policing in Canada, and that these events have caused members of the public to ask what the B.C. RCMP does as an organization to address this issue," Strachan says in the statement. "We recognize racism and other forms of discrimination exist in Canada. The B.C. RCMP acknowledges there is still work to be done to reduce, not just the impact but the very existence of discrimination. We continue to strengthen relationships with the people who live in our communities from all faiths, orientations, backgrounds and cultures to promote and foster an environment of inclusivity and diversity."

The RCMP says it has a dedicated Hate Crime Team which advices police investigating hate crimes.

"In many communities, the B.C. RCMP has worked with business owners to institute the Safe Place Program, offering shelter to LGBTQ2S+ if they are a victim of crime or have concern for their personal safety," Strachan says. "The RCMP's Indigenous Policing program provides culturally-sensitive service to the more than 200 Indigenous communities in B.C. The B.C. RCMP Senior Management Team has received advice and guidance from the Commanding Officers Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Board and Indigenous Cultural Advisory Committee in order to improve and promote inclusion in our organization and communities."

The B.C. RCMP says it strives to ensure biased-free policing and fosters an inclusive workplace.

"We actively recruit from diverse groups to ensure we are reflective of the communities we serve. Beginning at Depot, RCMP cadets are taught to recognize biases, challenge assumptions and identify potential impacts of those biases. Similarly in the field, the Gender-Based Analysis+ (GBA+) course is mandatory for all members and civilian staff. We continue to make deliberate and significant investment in education and training of police officers and civilian members to address issues of racial bias and discrimination. These are some of the many ongoing efforts by the RCMP to address racism and other forms of prejudice," Strachan says.

The statement says the public should have confidence that B.C. RCMP officers adhere to the highest standards of professionalism.

"For those rare instances where an officer does not adhere to those standards, those officers are held accountable for their actions through various mechanisms. These include performance and conduct processes internally and the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission (CRCC) and Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia (IIOBC), externally. Racism and discrimination are societal challenges that transcend policing, but the BC RCMP will continue its efforts to deliver a workplace and police services free of bias by addressing these issues openly and transparently as part of the global community's united stand against prejudice. This is one of the ways in which we strive to improve ourselves, our service and public confidence in policing."

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