Warning: contains fake news
A bold experiment by Turpin Laboratories has proven beyond a doubt that the Halifax police practice of “street-checking” is unconstitutional and racist.
The experiment, hailed as brilliant, introduced street-checking into a computer simulation of Nova Scotia’s capital, its people and police service.
Street-checking involves armed and uniformed cops stopping civilians at random to demand information about them such as their race and/or ethnicity and what they were doing before they were stopped.
Although this practice is unconstitutional and illegal on the face of it, the courts have left some wiggle room for vigilant police officers. An analysis by CBC showed that citizens perceived as “black” by police are three times as likely to be street-checked as those seen to be “white”.
Consequently, the chattering class is debating whether Halifax cops are being racist and unconstitutional.
To answer the question, the T-Labs experiment had computer-simulated cops street-check 1,000 simulated “white” people in the area of “the south end.” The computer simulation also included several subtle stereotypes about simulated “whites” in the city.
The results were stunning. The simulated south-enders burned up email and telephone connections to city hall.
“It’s crazy,” said simulated Anglo-Nova Scotian Graeme Graham. “Yes, Anglo-Nova Scotians commit crimes, but it’s clear we are being unfairly targetted. It’s way out of proportion to the percentage of whites in the city.”
Graham reacted angrily when it was noted that simulated white crime went up during the experiment: “Of course it rose, you bloody idiot. When you focus on one race exclusively, you’re bound to turn up proportionally more law-breakers. If you randomly questioned Norwegian blue parrots, bird crime would appear to rise. Of course, then the police would create a parrot squad, which would detect yet more bird crime.”
Simulated constitutional lawyer Serena Tennis-Anyone said: “You can’t find a clearer violation. People have a right to go about their business without arbitrary inference from the constabulary.”
And yet, simulated Haligonians “of colour”, who were excluded from the experiment, were not so sure. They engaged in an earnest, hand-wringing debate on the matter.
The debate ended quickly, however, when the simulated-Halifax council held an emergency meeting and summarily declared the practice unconstitutional and racist. They ordered the police to stop it and destroy the street-check database. The simulated council process required three nanoseconds in real-time.
Turpin Labs CEO and noted author Bill Turpin said the simulation was run 256 times with the same result.
“The experiment was brilliant. Street-checking is racist and illegal,” said Turpin, a noted author. “Just out of curiosity, we also ran the simulation on Norwegian blue parrots. Many of them were already behind bars.”