There were times growing up in Regent Park, the country’s largest and oldest social housing project, when Raphael Waugh brushed too close to violence, poverty and fear. When a troubled childhood friend was shot dead by police as he goofed around with a sword on the street. When he saw kids selling drugs to other kids. Or when his mother, a Jamaican immigrant raising the family alone, leaned on food banks to feed him and his two siblings.
He reflects on that now when patrolling Regent Park as a constable with 51 Division, the Toronto police designation for a bustling, cluttered section of the city’s core.
And these days, as community activists decry police carding, a stop-and-check protocol criticized for disproportionately targeting black men, Waugh also reflects on the times he was stopped by cops as a teenager walking in his neighbourhood when — he swears — he wasn’t up…
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