By Meagan Fiddler
APTN National News
Winnipeg police have dumped at least 76 people on roads and highways outside the city on potentially deadly starlight tours, a study has found.
The study, done by professors with the University of Winnipeg, found that police target Aboriginal men.
“I think that it is a form of racism. Young men in particular are being pulled over constantly on the grounds that they fit a description that is on the grounds that they are Aboriginal men,” said Jim Silver, urban and inner cities studies professor at the university.
The study is still in the process of being finalized, but its initial findings carry troubling echoes of the Neil Stonechild case in Saskatoon.
Stonechild was found frozen to death outside the Saskatchewan city after he was dumped by police in 1990 on a starlight tour.
Two police officers were eventually convicted of unlawful confinement and sentenced to eight months in jail.
A starlight tour is a term used to describe a practice by police who take drunken individuals and leave them outside the city to walk back on their own.
APTN National News spoke with one man, in his 30s, about his experience with a starlight tour.
The man said Winnipeg police dumped him outside the city about 10 years ago.
“They told me they were going to give me a ride home,” said the man, who asked not be identified. “When I woke up, they were pulling me out of the car.”
Winnipeg police said they would not comment on the study until its findings are completed.