Catch da Flava Radio - Police Presence in Neighbourhood

For this edition of Catch da Flava radio show, host Diamond introduced us to the topic of police presence in Regent Park. Because of a long and dark history involving negative relationships with police in the neighbourhood, Regent Park and its youth feel a strong sensitivity toward the very presence of police in the community, and the looming connotations behind that presence. As our show is based in Regent Park, all youth panelists have had interactions in the neighbourhood and understand its impact as youth. Joining our panel discussion were Beverley, Erika, Judy, and Joel.


Generally, all panelists felt a wariness when it comes to police presence in the neighbourhood. Although some can not speak of any personal experience of negative interactions with authority, they seem to know of someone that has faced some kind of negative experience. Erika and Diamond expressed concern as maternal figures to young Black men in their lives. Understanding through lived experience, they have seen a tendency of police targeting young Black men unjustifiably. Diamond expressed facing enormous anxiety when her younger brother had left the house on a Friday night and not come home until midnight, believing the worst when ​

it comes to interactions with the police. Erika contemplated the type of conversation she would have to have if she were to ever have a son, having to sit him down and tell him about the social inequalities that young Black men like him will face at the hands of police officers. Aside from the difficult conversation around race and crime, panelists explored the issue of crime and community, believing that not only does race play a factor in how youth are unjustly profiled by the police, but the community in which they are found can paint a stereotypical image of them as potential criminals. Panelists agreed that community and race can both play a factor in how youth can experience unwanted attention from police.

We would like to thank our panelists Beverley, Erika, Judy, and Joel for coming on air and sharing their candid perspectives and experiences with us to explore the topic of police presence in the neighbourhood and how it affects youth
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