"It Stays with You for Life”: The Everyday Nature and Impact of Police Violence in Toronto’s Inner-City

Carolyn Greene, Marta-Marika Urbanik, Kanika Samuels-Wortley

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    In recent years, police violence has amassed notable international attention from the public, practitioners, and academics alike. This paper explores experiences and perceptions of police violence in Canada, documenting the impacts of direct and vicarious experiences of police violence on inner-city residents. The study employed semi-structured interviews with 45 community members across three Toronto inner-city neighbourhoods. Using a general interview prompt guide, participants were asked a range of questions about their experiences with and perceptions of police, and particularly, of police violence in their community. The interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, thematically coded, and analyzed. All participants reported direct and/or vicarious experiences of police violence, and most described experiencing long-standing, and continual fear that police contact would result in harm to them. Further, participants described a variety of serious and negative outcomes associated with experiencing and/or witnessing police violence. Police violence in Canada is a public health issue that requires an integrated public health policy approach to address the negative outcomes associated with direct and vicarious police violence exposure.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-11
    JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
    Issue number17
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

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