Québec solidaire thinks François Legault is “hesitant” to fight racial profiling

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Québec solidaire thinks that François Legault “re hesitant” to fight racial profiling

Andrés Fontecilla, deputy for Laurier-Dorion, and Marjorie Villefranche, director of the House from Haiti to Montreal, are asking Quebec not to contest the Court's decision prohibiting police officers from stopping vehicles without a valid reason. (Archives)

Québec solidaire (QS) implores François Legault not to contest the recent decision of the Superior Court which prohibits the police from proceeding to the interception of vehicles without valid reason.

Le Solidarity spokesperson for public security, Andrés Fontecilla, invited the Prime Minister to take a historic step by taking the most concrete action to eliminate racial profiling in Quebec.

He asks him to devote his energy [to] the reform of the Highway Safety Code [and to] the need to render inoperative section 636 […], one of the main sources of racial profiling , he said Wednesday morning at a press conference in Montreal.

Mr. Fontecilla was accompanied by Lesly Blot, victim of racial profiling and witness in the trial presided over by Judge Michel Yergeau, as well as researcher and professor Victor Armony, co-founder of the Center for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR), Fo Niemi, and the general manager of the Maison d'Haiti, Marjorie Villefranche.

In his decision handed down at the end of October, Justice Yergeau, of the Superior Court, declared ineffective a case law established a little over 30 years ago by the Supreme Court, the Ladouceur decision, which allowed for the imposition of legal proceedings. interception without real reason for road safety reasons. He argued that over time, this arbitrary power granted to the police has become for some of them a vector, even a safe-conduct for racial profiling against the black community. /p>

Here is a rule that has been perverted. It can't hold any longer, argued Ms. Villefranche, of the Maison d'Haiti, on Wednesday.

We need to have black people driving free and proud, with freedom of movement, freedom of movement without being stopped in an abusive way, without real reason, argued Mr. Niemi, of CRARR.< /p>

The day after the judgment, Mr. Legault defended the work of police officers in Montreal. He said he will take the time to analyze the decision before deciding whether or not to appeal Judge Yergeau's findings.

In these By the way, Mr. Fontecilla sees a reluctance on the part of the CAQ leader to fight against racial profiling.

According to the supportive MP, if Mr. Legault challenges the decision, he will go against his own government's recommendations to ban random police stops. The QS elected official here refers to the Anti-Racism Action Group report filed in December 2020.

One of the members of this group is the new minister responsible for the fight against racism, Christopher Skeete, himself a black person. Mr. Fontecilla hopes the minister will use his influence to sway the government in favor of judgment.

Last week, the Association of Quebec Police Directors (ADPQ ) meanwhile expressed concern about the impacts of the court's decision on traffic safety.

She asserted that the purpose of section 636 is to protect road users by ensuring that drivers and vehicles comply with the law and established standards.

The ADPQ has stated that it is very aware of the issues of racial profiling and several initiatives have been put in place to [solve] this problem.

Efforts are indeed being made in this time to the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) to combat racial profiling in its police practice. However, these efforts do not address the real source of the problem, which is the application of section 636 of the Highway Safety Code, laments Mr. Fontecilla .

Researcher and professor Victor Armony is currently analyzing the impact of SPVM initiatives and its new policy on arrests. He said the wish is to see trends change towards a reduced risk of racial profiling.

Mr. Armony and two other researchers found in a 2019 study that Indigenous and black people are four to five times more likely to be stopped than white people.

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