Professor Akwasi Owusu-Bempah recently spoke to CBC News on limiting unnecessary interactions between the public and the police force. Professor Owusu-Bempah says that this is an important step to take because some of these unnecessary interactions have resulted in violence. Professor Owusu-Bempah explains that other agencies may be more suitable to complete some of the tasks.
Professor Owusu-Bempah frequently provides insightful commentary to public and governmental agencies, community organizations, and media outlets regarding topics of race, policing, and social justice. He is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto, with teaching responsibilities on the UT Mississauga (UTM) campus. His research focuses on the intersection of race, policing, and social justice.
We have posted an excerpt of the article below. The full story is available on the CBC News website here.
$46M in active civil lawsuits against Windsor police, malicious prosecution and negligence among claims
Jul 14, 2020
There are currently 12 open civil lawsuits against the Windsor Police Service totalling more than $46 million and those involve allegations such as collusion, malicious prosecution, assault and negligence, CBC News has learned.
Documents obtained through multiple freedom of information requests also show Windsor taxpayers have paid out $1.2 million, between 2006 and 2019, to victims who made accusations of malicious prosecution, wrongful arrest and assault relating to city cops. It involved 64 lawsuits and the confidential payouts are actually larger because that $1.2 million figure doesn’t include what the city’s insurers end up compensating.
“I think we need to consider the dollar amounts in the context of the calls for defunding the police we’re hearing at the moment,” said Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto Mississauga.
Police are being asked to do too many different things, he said, and that means more officer interactions with the public when other agencies may be more appropriate to respond.
“The less we have police presence in the lives of people where it doesn’t need to be, the less likely we are to have the types of assaults and violence that lead to these lawsuits,” said Owusu-Bempah.
Watch as Akwasi Owusu-Bempah explains why reducing unnecessary interactions between the police and the public is a good thing: