"They don't have a platform here": Exploring police perceptions of the Black Lives Matter movement in Canada

Date created: 
Police use of force
Black Lives Matter
Community policing
Social movement platform
Police accountability

Recent high-profile lethal use of force incidents in the United States involving White police officers and Black males have cast unfavorable international attention on the policing profession. Research indicates that Black people are disproportionately represented at all levels of the criminal justice system within Canada and the United States; their relationship with the police in particular has been adverse throughout history (Warde, 2012; Kahn & Martin, 2016). The current qualitative analysis explored the thoughts, perceptions and experiences of municipal police officers in the GVR and examined the following research questions: (1) To what degree, if any, has the recent BLM movement affected municipal policing in the GVR? and; (2) What can municipal policing agencies in the Vancouver area do to distance themselves from the BLM movement and anti-police rhetoric that is occurring in many parts of the United States? The BLM movement is present in Canada, but the anti-police rhetoric currently spreading throughout the United States is not. Officers described a positive relationship with community members in the GVR further stating that interactions between themselves and the community have not changed since the emergence of the BLM movement. These findings indicate that the BLM movement is not a “one-size fits all” movement. The overall positive nature of community-police relations in this region exist regardless of the community’s exposure to an increase in controversial police behaviour.

Document type: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
Rick Parent
Curt Griffiths
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.