Understand the Context
The Tracking (In)Justice data shows that police-involved use of force deaths are increasing. There are also stark racialized differences revealed by the data.
To help understand why the data looks the way it does, read our introductory explainer for more context which outlines the social and historical background on policing in Canada.
Here are some of the key points to help better understand why the data looks the way it does:
- Canada has a long history of slavery and colonialism, and colonialist and discriminatory structures persist in contemporary Canadian laws and institutions.
- Discrimination – systemic and otherwise – runs through Canada’s justice system, with increasing rates of police intervention, questioning, arrest, use of force, surveillance towards Indigenous people, African, Caribbean and Black people, and members of other racialized communities.
- Discriminatory acts and systems in Canadian society more broadly also result in these groups experiencing disproportionate rates of job insecurity and poverty – other factors that often coincide with increased police contact.
Our Latest Analysis
08 Aug 2023
Tracking (In)Justice Launches memorial of people who have died in custody since the year 2000 across Canada
Prisoners’ Justice Day | August 10, 2023
29 Mar 2023
10 Feb 2023
Understanding the Data: Historical and Contemporary Context of Policing, Colonialism and Discrimination
A broad review of the contemporary and historical context of policing, discrimination and colonialism in Canada
10 Feb 2023
A look at recent trends in police-involved deaths in Canada
10 Feb 2023
A closer look at police-involved deaths by province and territory, and type of force used
10 Feb 2023
New report has shown that deaths in custody in Ontario have increased 173% from 2010 to 2021. This post summarizes some key findings and discussion from the report
Police-involved Deaths when Force Used
These charts provide some basic insight into the data and will update as we input new data. This page is best viewed on a desktop or laptop.
The number of police-involved use of force deaths has risen over the past 20 years, even when corrected for population growth. Some of this long-term trend may be due to increased access to information about police-involved killings and deaths. But access to information alone does not explain the striking increase in the past 4 years.
Police-involved Deaths when Force used by Province and Territory
There are stark differences between the numbers across provinces and territories. The chart is best viewed on a desktop or laptop.
Geographically, while there are differences in population size, in most jurisdictions across Canada, the number of police-involved use of force deaths has increased over the past twenty years. In some instances this rise may be related to increased access to information, but more research is needed as there are still many unknowns.
Police-involved Deaths by Race of Victim
Black and Indigenous peoples are over-represented in police use of force-involved deaths in Canada. The chart is best viewed on a desktop or laptop.
Black and Indigenous people are disproportionately represented amongst those who have died compared to their share of the overall population. There are also many unknowns in the data.
Police-involved Deaths by Highest Level of Force Used
A majority of people were shot with a firearm by police. The chart is best viewed on a desktop or laptop.
Analyze The Data
We encourage you to analyze the data in ways that matter to you.