Montreal Police Officers Found Guilty Of Racial Profiling - MTL Blog

Montreal Police Officers Found Guilty Of Racial Profiling

You're not crazy, it does happen.

From racism, sexism, discrimination and total ignorance, there have been many stories and claims against Montreal's police department.

Well, you are not crazy - this is, absolutely, an issue in our city. 

The Montreal police department and two of their officers have been found guilty of racial profiling, and are ordered to pay a fine of more than $12,000 to Davids Mensah - a man of Ghanian descent. 

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Judge Mario Gervais handed down his ruling on the 2nd of March, ordering the Montreal police department to fork over $8,000 in damages, $2,500 from Constable Jean-Michel Fournier and another $1,500 from Constable Martin Robidoux. 

The Montreal police department will also be covering the court costs and interest accrued from the time the complaint was filed in 2014. 

Mensah, who was actually studying to become a police officer at the time, was a delivery driver and was pulled over by the two officers mentioned apparently because of a broken light on his car. 

The officers found an unpaid ticket when checking Mensah's license in their database, ordered him out of the vehicle which began a verbal dispute. 

Then, they started to ask Mensah if he had knives or drugs in his possession - for no apparent reason other than the colour of his skin. 

The officers claim the man had become aggressive as they cuffed him. Mensah notes his car was impounded, he was ticketed and was not allowed to call his wife or employer to help settle the unpaid fine. 

The court found that the decision to search Mensah, twice, as well as asking him if he possessed knives or drugs when he was detained for an unpaid fine was, in fact, discrimination. 

“The court thus considers itself to be in the presence of evidence … that the plaintiff was a victim of racial profiling,” Gervais wrote. “The most likely and rational explanation is that the characteristics of the plaintiff, a young man with black skin, along with a stereotype of a presumption of criminality, notably in the matter of drugs, were the factors on Constable Fournier’s mind that led him to illegally question (the plaintiff) three times — twice on the possession of something illegal and once on the possession of drugs — and to search him twice during his arrest.” Source

This reminds me of a story regarding a person of colour being singled out by the Montreal police in what was supposed to be a "safe space" at last year's Fierte Montreal Pride celebrations. 

It is not a myth or extreme opinions. There are fact and evidence showing that the Montreal police force does engage in discriminatory behaviour to many of our minority groups. 

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Riley James