Filed Against Chiefs of Police and Police Board
Ayaan Farah and her lawyers say that the Toronto Police Board and several named chiefs of police have “violated the rights of the Plaintiff and the Class under sections 8,7,9 and 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms” according to a statement of claim filed on August 14, 2023.
Street carding is also an issue that affects Indigenous people according to class action lawyers, and studies on the police practice.
The class action is asking for a total of $250,000,000 in damages.
The statement of claim is also asking for an injunction on the practice of carding, which they define as “stopping individuals, without any reasonable suspicion of individuals’ involvement in criminal activity, requesting individuals provide personal and/or identifying information, and collecting and storing this personal and/or identifying information in the Toronto Police Service’s databases.”
Farah is of Somalia heritage and worked at United Airways (now American Airlines) until her security clearance was downgraded after the Royal Canadian Mountain Police alleged she had a connection to the Dixon Crew, which police describe as a street gang “primarily comprised of Somali males.”
The allegations made, according to the statement of claim were that “in or around January 2014, Transport Canada received a Law Enforcement Records Check (“LERC”) report from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (the “RCMP”). The LERC indicated, among other things, that when Ms. Farah was stopped by officers of the Toronto Police Service in 2011, she had been observed with a member of the Somali-Canadian community (“Subject “A”), who the records of the Defendants purported to be a member of a “street gang”. Subject “A” was not identified. 21.”
Farah could not find out the name of the person she was alleged to socialise with. In response to the allegations against her, Farah emailed Transport Canada the following, according to the statement of claim.
“Toronto Police is falsely accusing me of having ties to gangsters. I am a law-abiding citizen with no criminal convictions. The alleged association I have to this individual is also unknown to me. For one, I have no recollection of this occurrence or even for that matter, as the individual is also unnamed in the report, I do not know who this individual happens to be. Furthermore, I have no idea to what is meant by “direct interaction”.
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