The Toronto police force released data this week that includes information on strip searches, a controversial practice that often causes people to feel sexually assaulted by authorities.

The data show that in 2020 — even though Black people make up around 10 per cent of Toronto’s population — one in every three people who were strip-searched were Black, and nearly a third of all Indigenous people who were arrested were strip searched. The numbers are much lower for non-racialized and non-Indigenous people.

Today in The Conversation Canada, Monika Lemke of York University delves into the findings, pointing out that strip searches rarely if ever yield any information or evidence for police and simply serve to traumatize those who are subjected to them.

She writes: “Given that police rarely discover dangerous items, is it really worth subjecting countless people to searches that are degrading, infringe constitutional rights and traumatizing to the Black and Indigenous people who are disproportionately searched?”

Also today:

All the best.

Lee-Anne Goodman

Politics, Business + Economics Editor

Chief James Ramer of the Toronto Police Service speaks during a news conference releasing race-based data at police headquarters in Toronto. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin

Strip searches are ineffective, unnecessary and target racialized Canadians

Monika Lemke, York University, Canada

Strip searching is a police practice that evokes racial and sexual trauma, and it’s also ineffective. It’s finally time to talk about ending this oppressive police practice.

Several people were injured and homes destroyed after tornadoes touched down in Barrie, Ont., in July 2021. (Duckdave/Wikimedia)

The cheaper we build our buildings, the more they cost after an earthquake, wildfire or tornado

Keith Porter, Western University

Engineers, architects and builders can design and construct affordable new buildings that can resist tornadoes, floods and wildfires, but do not. We have that opportunity now.

A large iceberg passes near Ferryland, an hour south of St. John’s, Nfld., in April 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Daly

How Iceberg Alley got its name and why it may be under threat

Frédéric Cyr, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Between zero and 2,000 icebergs reach Newfoundland each spring, but the warming climate could see an end to Iceberg Alley.

The swimsuit issue continues to promote sexual attractiveness as women’s main currency. (Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2022)

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit: Is inclusive objectification something to celebrate?

Tracy Isaacs, Western University

We can promote inclusion and celebrate the beauty of diverse bodies without piggybacking on that relentless message about what makes women worthy.

Through a loving connection, children learn what it means to take safe risks. (Pexels/Anna Shvets)

6 ways fathers can share love and connection with their babies, preschoolers and young children

Nikki Martyn, University of Guelph-Humber

Dads and caregivers play important roles in supporting the development of loving relationships.

A recent investigation revealed that the autopilot in Tesla vehicles would switch off when a collision is imminent. (AP Photo/David Zalubowsi, File)

Drivers of self-driving cars can rely too much on autopilot, and that’s a recipe for disaster

Francesco Biondi, University of Windsor

The promise of self-driving cars remains unfulfilled, as the technology still requires drivers to co-pilot the vehicles to avoid collisions.

Patient safety incidents are the third leading cause of death in Canada. (Shutterstock)

When health care goes wrong: It’s time for transparency in patient safety

Fiona MacDonald, University of Northern British Columbia; Allison Kooijman, University of British Columbia; Carolyn Canfield, University of British Columbia; Nelly Oelke, University of British Columbia; Robert Robson, McMaster University

Patient safety incidents were already a leading cause of death in Canada. With that crisis converging with the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, health care is being pushed to a breaking point.

La Conversation Canada

Les promoteurs immobiliers, principalement guidés par des objectifs de profitabilité, sont peu susceptibles de veiller aux diverses dimensions qui permettent d’assurer que la densification donne le plein potentiel de ses bénéfices environnementaux et sociétaux. (Shutterstock)

Densifier la ville ? Oui, mais de manière verte et socialement acceptable

Florian Mayneris, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Dans le débat actuel sur l’étalement urbain, que dit la littérature économique récente sur les causes de l’étalement urbain et sur ses conséquences, notamment environnementales ?

Ukraine Invasion


  • What did dinosaurs actually look like? Podcast

    Gemma Ware, The Conversation; Daniel Merino, The Conversation

    New discoveries keep changing our understanding of what dinosaurs looked like. Listen to The Conversation Weekly podcast.



Science + Tech