Toronto police are considering collecting race-based data. Will it really be different this time around?

It’s an evermore bewildering world. Especially for those of us who’ve been around the news story block countless times, only to end up where we started.

Except the enlightenment of the thing — a purported gaining of wisdom — has been turned upside down.

Thirty-one years ago, a young Toronto staff inspector by the name of Julian Fantino triggered a furious public debate when, speaking to North York’s committee on community, race and ethnic relations, he revealed a clutch of race-based crime statistics. His figures indicated that, while Black residents made up just six per cent of that community, they accounted for 82 per cent of robberies and muggings, 55 per cent of purse-snatchings and 51 per cent of drug offences in the previous years.

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