A black man victim of racial profiling while driving in a luxury car in a residential area of Brossard, in Montérégie, won his case before the Human Rights Tribunal on Friday, more than eight years later the events.
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The Longueuil Agglomeration Police Service (SPAL) and the two police officers involved in this affair will have to pay $ 12,000 to the victim, Joël DeBellefeuille, as compensation for moral damages suffered.
At the same time, the Court calls on the City of Longueuil to “collect and publish annually, starting in 2021, statistical data concerning the perceived or presumed racial affiliation of persons subject to a police stop in order to document the phenomenon of racial profiling ”, it is indicated in the long judgment rendered by Judge Christian Brunelle.
In the same vein, Me Brunelle ordered the SPAL to set up training on racial profiling for officers and executives of the police force.
The decision was welcomed by the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse (CDPDJ).
“This important decision of the Tribunal allows a black man to see the prejudice he suffered during his arrest without cause by the police. The judgment insists on the social context of racial profiling and on the urgency to act to counter this phenomenon, which goes in the same direction as our own recommendations ”, affirmed by press release Philippe-André Tessier, president of the Commission.
“This judgment also reinforces a demand that the Commission has been making for more than a year, namely the definitive prohibition of police arrests without reason, which disproportionately target certain groups, including black communities”, added Myrlande Pierre, vice-president. President of the Commission.
The facts date back to the morning of March 22, 2012, when Joël DeBellefeuille was on his way to drop his boy off at daycare, along with his wife and niece. SPAL agents Polidoro and Bleu Voua met Mr. DeBellefeuille’s gaze and turned around to follow him.
After dropping off his child at the daycare, Mr. DeBellefeuille was met by the officers on the lawn, outside the daycare, while the owner wondered about the presence of the police.
After explaining that it was a random check, the police left in their vehicle with Mr. DeBellefeuille’s papers, then, not noticing anything strange in his file, agent Polidoro gave him back his documents. documents, terminating the intervention.
Mr. DeBellefeuille had subsequently filed a complaint with the CDPDJ, brought by the Center for Research-Action on Racial Relations (CRARR). He had already experienced several similar situations in the past, including another event in 2009, which had also been publicized.
The SPAL is in the process of introducing new measures to “correct the situation and ensure that the right to equality of the citizens of Longueuil is fully respected by the police”, recalled Judge Christian Brunelle.