- A Quebec judge has approved a class-action lawsuit against the city of Montreal for racial profiling. The Black Coalition of Quebec first filed the lawsuit in December.
- Individuals who have been hurt either physically or non-physically by the Montreal officials because of racial profiling may participate.
A Quebec judge has authorized a class-action lawsuit against the city of Montreal. The lawsuit is in response to an alleged case of racial profiling by Montreal police.
With the support of lawyers from La Ligue des Noirs du Québec, a non-profit organization defending the rights of Quebec's black community, the class action is open to anyone who believes they've been racially profiled by the SPVM.
Leading the charge is Alexandre Lamontagne, a Montrealer of Haitian origin who claims he was profiled by the SPVM in August 2017. Racial profiling has been a hot-topic issue for the SPVM for quite some time.
Anyone who may have been hurt between Aug. 14, 2017, and Jan. 11, 2019 or anyone who experienced "non-physical harm" because of an action resulting from racial profiling between July 11, 2018, and Jan. 11, 2019 is eligible to participate in the class action, according to the CBC.
In an official statement, the Ligue des Noirs du Québec states that this class action "will reduce instances of abuse of power and racial profiling" in Montreal's police force. Representatives of the Ligue have called this ruling "historic."
The court will eventually decide on an amount for financial compensation.
Montreal police haven't commented on this issue, as it's already gone to court.
People who believe that they have been racially profiled in Montreal can file their complaint directly with the Ligue des Noirs du Québec.
Abuse of power and racial profiling are endemic in many police forces around the world and Montreal's SPVM, unfortunately, isn't a unique case.
Last December, in fact, the SPVM released a year-to-year racial profiling action plan that many critics described as "vague."
While racial profiling will perhaps always be a problem in the streets of Montreal, this historic class-action lawsuit is a step in the right direction.