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N.S. RCMP to issue apology to African Nova Scotians for historical use of street checks

The Nova Scotia RCMP is planning to make a formal apology to African Nova Scotians over the historical use of street checks and other interactions they say have had a negative impact on the community.

The RCMP says the organization will hold more than a dozen consultation sessions in African Nova Scotia communities across the province, the first of which took place Monday night in Gibson Woods.

"I know this apology is long overdue. And I acknowledge a lot of work needs to be done to start to rebuild the fractured relationship with the community," says Assistant Commissioner Dennis Daley, Commanding Officer of the Nova Scotia RCMP, in a news release Tuesday.

"That's why it's especially important we hear from those who will be affected by the apology; we need to get the apology right and pursue systemic change."

The goal of the sessions is to create an action plan, which will follow the apology.

"To ensure the upcoming apology – and the actions that follow – are meaningful, I've established a steering committee to provide guidance and support," says Assistant Commissioner Daley.

"The members' expertise and leadership will help us reconcile with the Black community, with the hope of building back trust."

The committee is made up of members of the RCMP and community leaders, including:

  • Rev. Dr. Lennett Anderson
  • Elizabeth Cooke-Sumbu
  • Andrea Davis
  • Louise Delisle
  • Vanessa Fells
  • Alexander Fraser
  • Rose Fraser
  • Craig Gibson
  • Russell Grosse
  • Deacon Catherine Hartling
  • DeRico Symonds

"Nova Scotia is steeped in a remarkable Black history that spans many centuries; it's through this lens that we've begun the process of collaboration with senior RCMP leadership to help build a meaningful response to the practice of street checks and the development of an action plan," says steering committee member Rev. Dr. Lennett Anderson.

"We as Community understand the contention surrounding the issue and play a dual role in this work."

The RCMP says it will begin drafting its apology and action plan once the community consultations wrap up in November.

The apology is expected to be delivered sometime next year.

Halifax Regional Police issued an apology for its use of street checks back in 2019. Top Stories

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