Source: Industrial Accident Victims’ Group of Ontario (IAVGO)

Justicia for Migrant Workers Condemns OIPRD Report on Systemic Review of DNA Sweep and Demands an End to Racist Policing

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - July 12, 2016) - Justicia for Migrant Workers (J4MW), a migrant rights advocacy organization, strongly rejects the Office of the Independent Police Review Director's (OIPRD) finding that there was no racial profiling in the coercive DNA sweep of 99 black and brown migrant men in Bayhem, Ontario in 2013. J4MW condemns the OIPRD's perpetuation of racist policing of black and racialized communities.

The DNA sweep was part of an investigation into the sexual assault of a local woman that occurred on October 19th, 2013. Justicia for Migrant Workers denounces this heinous act of violence and supports the survivor of the attack.

In October and November 2013, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) conducted a DNA sweep where samples where taken from almost a 100 Afro-Caribbean and Indo-Caribbean men who did not all conform to the suspect description. The men ranged in ages 21 to 61, heights ranged from 5'0" to 6'5", and body sizes ranged between 130 lbs to 310 lbs. Other identifying features (e.g. hairstyle) were also disregarded. After meeting with dozens of the migrant workers who expressed their outrage, J4MW filed the complaint with the OIPRD.

"We have wasted two years waiting for this disappointing report. We completely reject the findings of the OIPRD's Systemic Review" says Claudia Espinoza, a member of J4MW. "The OPP and the employers created a space of fear and control over these Afro and Indo-Caribbean workers. Migrant workers are angered, and so are we. The review gives the police permission to continue to harass and racially profile racialized and migrant communities across Ontario." continues Espinoza.

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