As calls to “defund the police” have spread around the world, we’ve seen the violence police inflict upon communities of colour. Race-based data is hard to come by in Canada, but the data we do have show Black and Indigenous people to be disproportionately policed and to face high rates of police violence.

Now, many Canadians are seriously considering the need to reform or even abolish our police forces. But what does the movement to defund the police require from a policy perspective? And how can people working within Canadian institutions play a role in this global movement? To answer some of those questions, we’re joined by Holly Campeau and Kiké Roach.

Holly Campeau is an assistant professor of Sociology and Criminology at the University of Alberta specializing in the intersection between criminal justice, cultural sociology, and law. She is also senior researcher with the Global Justice Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy at the University of Toronto.

Kiké Roach is the Unifor National Chair in Social Justice and Democracy at Ryerson University, where she teaches courses in social movements and politics, and in human rights. As a lawyer, she was an advocate for accountability and reform in policing and in detention centres for many years representing organizations such as the Black Action Defense Committee.

Photo: People chanting slogans and showing BLM fist during a rally to protest the death of a Black woman with mental illness, died in police presence on May 30, 2020 in Toronto, Canada. Shutterstock/By arindambanerjee

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Holly Campeau
Holly Campeau is an assistant professor of Sociology and Criminology at the University of Alberta specializing in the intersection between criminal justice, cultural sociology, and law. She is also senior researcher with the Global Justice Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy at the University of Toronto.
Kiké Roach
Kiké Roach is the Unifor National Chair in Social Justice and Democracy at Ryerson University, where she teaches courses in social movements and politics, and in human rights. As a lawyer, she was an advocate for accountability and reform in policing and in detention centres for many years representing organizations such as the Black Action Defense Committee.