Special Statement from Commissioner Natalie Borden, Chair of the Halifax Board of Police Commissioners
The events surrounding the murder of George Floyd while in police custody have created scary and uncertain times for all of us. These events reflect the historical mistreatment of Black people in the US, but as a Black woman in Nova Scotia I feel the sense of despair. We cannot forget that we in Nova Scotia also have a painful history of anti-Black racism.
At the same time, I feel a sense of pride. Pride in the people who have demanded change. I couldn’t have imagined that I would hear the Premier say Black Lives Matter; see a Black Deputy Chief of Police in our municipality; have the Mayor, the CAO, the Police Chief, and HRP officers taking a knee during the protests; and see an apology from the Chief of Police to the Black community for past mistreatment.
The Board of Police Commissioners has been, and will continue, to work with both HRP and the Halifax District of the RCMP to improve policing in the municipality to ensure our city is safe and that all citizens can live without fear and worry, especially our Black citizens.
We have heard from many citizens about their concerns and are hearing from increasing numbers over the last few weeks, and this feedback helps us fulfill our role including our work on the recommendations from the Wortley Report.
We support Chief Kinsella in following up on the apology of November 29, 2019 and the development of an action plan which will continue to focus on strengthening police community relations and includes full accountability for any case of mistreatment that comes to light.
This momentum cannot be lost. The Board is committed to bring about more positive changes and ensure they are sustainable.