Mamadi III Fadi Camara, members of his family and two neighbours are suing the Montreal police (via the City of Montreal) and prosecutors (via Quebec's Attorney General) for damages amounting to $1.2 million. Camara is a Montrealer who was wrongfully arrested by the SPVM for attempted murder in January 2021.
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Camara, who is Black, says that he was the target of "racial profiling" and "abusive force" by Montreal police, according to court documents shared with MTL Blog.
What happened to Mamadi Camara?
On January 28, 2021, Camara was stopped by SPVM officer Sanjay Vig off Highway 40 in Parc-Extension for allegedly using his cell phone while driving, the document states. Camara denies the accusation.
During the stop, officer Vig was attacked by an unknown assailant.
More police arrived on the scene after Camara dialled 911 for help and he was allowed to leave, the filing continues.
After trying to return home, however, Camara was apprehended by police.
The document describes a forceful arrest in which officers are alleged to have dragged Camara through his car window and "[thrown] him to the ground."
One officer is said to have "placed his boot on Mr. Camara's head and pushed it into the snow."
Camara was placed in detention for six days.
He was cleared of all charges and released on February 3.
The document states that Camara has experienced "a deep sense of humiliation" and "post-traumatic shock" as a result of his experience with police and in detention.
What else does the court document allege?
The document states that "the only reason that explains the persecution of Mr. Camara despite corroborating evidence and the opinion of three officers that he was only a witness is the colour of his skin and his ethnic origin."
It also claims that officer Vig gave a false statement about the traffic stop and wrongfully accused Camara of the assault.
The document further states that "from the first minutes of the investigation, the SPVM plunged into a tunnel vision, leaving out crucial evidence."
The SPVM declined to comment on the lawsuit for this story, citing a desire to not "interfere with or compromise the ongoing process."
The lawsuit amounts to $1.2 million in damages sought among all plaintiffs, including a total of $940,000 sought by Camara for financial damages, "damage to his reputation," "the unlawful detention of six days," "moral damages" and "punitive damages."
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