A Quebec Superior Court judge has authorized a class action against the City of Montreal on behalf of citizens who allege they were unfairly arrested and racially profiled by the city’s police.
Justice Andre Prévost ruled on Aug. 7 that the claimants met the criteria to proceed.
The Black Coalition of Quebec filed the class action request on behalf of non-Caucasian citizens who were unjustly stopped, arrested or detained by Montreal police between Aug. 14, 2017 and Jan 11, 2019 and who suffered racial profiling or violations of their rights.
The lead plaintiff is Alexandre Lamontagne, a man of Haitian origin who claims that in Aug. 2017 he was standing on the street checking his cell phone when he was questioned by two police officers. He was arrested and charged with obstructing police work and assault with the intention of resisting arrest, but the charges were later dropped.
In his ruling, Prevost said the class action would address a number of questions, including whether city representatives acted in a discriminatory fashion and violated the rights of the plaintiffs.
The Black Coalition said in a statement that it believes the lawsuit will reduce instances of abuse and racial profiling by giving black and cultural communities access to justice.
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