In 1998, Kirk Johnson, one of Nova Scotia’s best-known athletes, launched a complaint of racial profiling at the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. Halifax Regional Police had stopped his car more than 29 times in 1 ½ months. A 2003 Board of Inquiry ruled that he was subject to discrimination, awarded him damages and compensation, and made several other groundbreaking orders.
One of those orders had the police keep records of “street checks,” classified by race. Those records remained unexamined until 2017 when a Freedom of Information request led to the discovery that African Nova Scotians were six times more likely to be stopped than whites and a ruling that street checks are illegal.
El Jones is a poet, journalist, professor and activist, and a renowned fighter for feminism, prison abolition, anti-racism, and decolonization.
In 2020, the Halifax police commission appointed El to define defunding the police