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Ottawa police to collect race-based data on traffic stops in deal with human rights body

Ottawa police will begin collecting race-based data on traffic stops as part of a settlement with a man who accused them of racial profiling.

The case centres on a human rights complaint from Chad Aiken, who was pulled over by police in 2005 while driving his mother's Mercedes.

Mr. Aiken, who was 18 at the time, made a complaint against police to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, alleging he was stopped because he was black.

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He also alleged he was punched and wrestled to the ground by one of the officers when he asked for their badge numbers.

A partial settlement of his complaint was reached two years ago, but details haven't been released.

The most recent agreement focuses on using data collection as a way to help provide "bias-free" police services.

Ottawa police will collect the data for two years, and make it available for analysis by the commission.

Chief Charles Bordeleau says the agreement will be an important tool to strengthen the trust of the community in the police.

Barbara Hall, chief commissioner of the human rights body, called the move "groundbreaking."

"People in every community need to feel confident in their police services. And collecting data can help police operate with transparency so that they can maintain trust in the communities they serve," Ms. Hall said.

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