Nova Scotia RCMP Plans Historic Apology to African Community for Street Checks

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The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) of Nova Scotia has announced its intent to issue a formal apology to the African Nova Scotian community. The apology seeks to address the historical use of street checks and other interactions that have adversely affected the community.

In preparation for this, the RCMP is holding over a dozen consultation sessions across African Nova Scotian communities throughout the province. The inaugural meeting took place in Gibson Woods on Monday night.

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Assistant Commissioner Dennis Daley, Commanding Officer of the Nova Scotia RCMP, expressed that the overdue apology marks an essential first step toward rebuilding trust within the community. Daley emphasized the need for honest feedback to ensure the apology’s effectiveness and spur systemic change.

The upcoming sessions aim to develop a comprehensive action plan that will complement the apology. Daley disclosed that he has put together a steering committee to provide guidance and strength throughout this process. Their expertise and leadership will play a crucial role in reconciliation efforts and trust rebuilding initiatives within the Black community.

The committee comprises esteemed 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, and DeRico Symonds.

Rev. Dr. Lennett Anderson, one of the steering committee members, commented on the significant Black history engrained in Nova Scotia that spans centuries. Anderson acknowledged the community’s collective understanding of the contention surrounding the issue and their dual role in collaboratively developing a meaningful response to the street check practice and creating a robust action plan.

The RCMP plans to draft its apology and action plan following the conclusion of the community consultations in November. It anticipates delivering the apology sometime next year. It is worth noting that the Halifax Regional Police previously issued an apology for their utilization of street checks in 2019.