Montreal suburb promises police review after fourth profiling complaint upheld
MONTREAL -- A suburb north of Montreal says it is reviewing its police practices after a string of recent racial profiling complaints against its officers were upheld by a human rights commission.
The Quebec Human Rights Commission most recently found that the City of Repentigny discriminated against Leslie Blot when officers stopped, handcuffed and ticketed him when he was sitting in the passenger seat of a parked car blowing up inflatable toys for his children in 2017.
The commission ruled the evidence supports sending the case to be heard by the province's human rights tribunal unless the city agrees to a settlement that includes paying Blot more than $38,000 and taking several actions to reduce profiling, including collecting race-based data on police stops.
Repentigny police say on their Facebook page they have begun reviewing their practices and are putting together an action plan to make the organization more inclusive, but they did not comment directly on the decision.
Neither Blot, who is Black, nor Fo Niemi of the Center for Research-Action on Race Relations has much confidence in the city's promises of change.
Niemi says Blot's case is the fourth time the rights commission has ruled against the city, and each time Repentigny has chosen to allow the file to proceed to the province's human rights tribunal rather than accepting the proposed settlement.
Blot alleges the incident in question was one of many times he was profiled by Repentigny police, and he doesn't see any evidence they've improved their practices.
-- this report by The Canadian Press was first published July 5, 2021