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.
This article contains graphic content that might not be suitable for some readers.
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.
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."
This article's cover image is used for illustrative purposes only.
If either Valérie Plante or Denis Coderre get elected mayor in November, Montreal would be "more dangerous," according to mayoral candidate and Mouvement Montréal leader Balarama Holness.
"Montreal will be more dangerous under a Plante or Coderre administration because they both avoid accountability and fail to address the root cause of city violence: poverty, social exclusion, and marginalization," Holness said in a statement shared with MTL Blog.
@mouvement_MTL and @RPMTL2021 have a common vision to provide Montrealers with better services, remedy the housing… https://t.co/yXXZIqzTwQ
Holness called out Mayor Valérie Plante and former Mayor Denis Coderre for, in his words, "blindly investing in the SPVM."
"We have seen the budget skyrocket from $400 million to $800 million per year in the past few decades," he said, calling for a record of "every dollar spent by the SPVM" to be made public.
Under a Holness mandate, SPVM expenditures would be greatly reduced and much of the police budget would be frozen or eliminated altogether, "including the $57 million dollar gun range that was earmarked for 2020-2022," the statement from the party reads.
Rather than funding the police, Holness says his administration would invest $1 billion into building new sports and recreation facilities in Montreal in order to "improve urban health, limit high school dropouts, and build stronger and safer communities."
In the now-viral video, originally taken by Instagram user @pluggy.00, you can see the two SPVM officers trying their best to keep the individual in their hold, but failing to do so and then unsuccessfully trying to catch the suspect as they quickly ran away.
SPVM spokesperson Jean-Pierre Brabant confirmed with MTL Blog that this incident took place on Thursday, October 7 in Villeray.
Brabant said the suspect is known to police but has not yet been arrested as investigators continue to locate the individual.
"We're still looking for him. We haven't found him. We have all his information though," he confirmed.
"We know who it is, it's just a question of time to find him."
SPVM spokesperson Jean-Pierre Brabant explained that "a man presented himself without saying anything to the employee from the STM started to hit the window with what looked like a hammer. From there — when he was finished — he left by foot," leaving behind approximately $5,000 in damages.
The STM employee told the Montreal police that they had no altercations with the man and were not harmed during the incident.
Brabant said the SPVM is still trying to figure out why this event occurred and told MTL Blog that investigators have yet to identify the suspect but are using the footage from surveillance cameras in the metro to try and do so.
If you want a visual of what the damage looked like, Étienne Fortin-Gauthier shared a video on Twitter of the metro after the hammer attack.
"The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has deployed a team of investigators to the site of an accident involving a Cessna 172 banner towing aircraft in Montreal, Quebec. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence," stated a news release on October 3.
#TSBAir deploys a team of investigators following an accident involving a banner towing aircraft in Montreal, Quebec https://t.co/HyBa0av4xB
According to Caroline Chèvrefils, spokesperson for the SPVM, "at approximately 6 p.m., a call was made to 911 regarding a plane crash near the Concorde Bridge."
Firefighters and police quickly went to the scene and found "one person deceased," Chèvrefils continued.
Another individual was brought to the hospital, but police say there's no danger for their life.
According to testimonies collected by TVA Nouvelles, the plane included a banner with a marriage proposal. The SPVM could not confirm whether it was a member of the couple who was a victim of the accident.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.