“Build Trust between Black Communities and the Police” – Justice Michael Tulloch

The Honourable Michael H. Tulloch, Chief Justice of Ontario, has stated that the police should strive to build and maintain trust within communities.

He noted that tension between law enforcement and the communities they serve has led to mutual distrust.

Chief Justice Tulloch, Ontario’s first Black Chief Justice, made these remarks during his keynote address at the York Regional Police Black History Month Celebration held at the York Regional Police Headquarters.

He acknowledged that this is not a task for police officers alone, but also a challenge that judges in the courts must confront.

“If we do the necessary work, I’m confident that 30 years from now, at another gathering celebrating Black History Month, we will be rejoicing and celebrating the progress made,” said Chief Justice Tulloch.

Regarding the history of Black people, he emphatically stated that accurate Black stories can only be told by Black people themselves. He noted that one of the reasons why Black stories are often distorted is because those who tell them are influenced by negative images and stereotypes.

Chief Justice Tulloch did not deny that many Black individuals have grown up believing that their history began with slavery. This belief, he said, has led to low self-esteem, an inferiority complex, and other issues that hinder their abilities and efforts. He added that this affects how others perceive Black people.

However, Chief Justice Tulloch commended the York Regional Police for their progressive approach to policing. He expressed his admiration for their work and used their service as a benchmark against which he would measure other services.

York Regional Police Chief, Jim MacSween, stated that his division is building a proper police service with policies and processes that align with the needs of all constituents, including Black communities.

“Since becoming the chief of York Regional Police in May 2020, I’ve been focused on championing diversity and collaborating with our community partners to ensure York Region is welcoming and inclusive,” said Chief MacSween.

He praised the Executive Command Team of York Regional Police, comprised of Deputy Chiefs Kevin McCloskey, Cecile Hammond, Paulo Da Silva, Alvaro Almeida, and the entire York Regional Police officers, for their commitment to equity and social justice.

The Executive Command Team of York Regional Police in uniform

While he acknowledged that there is still much work to be done, Chief MacSween said his division would continue to work to strengthen relationships and build confidence with the Black community every day of the year, not just during Black History Month.

During the event, the Chief of York Regional Police unveiled the 30th edition of the Black History Month Legacy poster by Robert Small. The poster, now in its 30th year, celebrates, recognizes, and reflects on the contributions of Black individuals who have left a positive legacy in the community.

Robert Small (third from left) with the York Regional Police Chief. Looking on are two of the featured individuals in the poster.

The event was further enlivened with musical, poetry and dance performances.

Source: Emmanuel Ayiku and Ebenezer Amankwah, Toronto


  1. This is really great. Perseverance, inded, conquers difficulties. Let’s keep the racial equity effoets without fail.

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