Quebec woman accuses police of discrimination for searching home without a warrant
MONTREAL -- A St-Eustache woman is accusing the police making disparaging and sexist remarks in front of her children while searching her home without a warrant.
Diana Santos said the two officers showed up at her house on the night of April 22, asking why her front door was open. Santos said her daughter was playing in the front yard and had been running in and out of the house.
While the officers eventually left, she said they came back 15 minutes later.
“It's my house. Children were playing, it's normal, not strange,” she said. “But they said there had been a theft at a pizzeria.”
Santos said the police told her she fit the description of a suspect who had stolen a pizza five days earlier.
However, Santos owns a catering company next to the pizzeria and knows the owner who said surveillance footage showed Santos had not stolen the pizza.
According to Santos, the officers then searched her home without permission or a warrant.
Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations Executive Director Fo Niemi said the search was illegal.
“They went through her bedroom, through her wardrobe, they checked out her new clothes,” she said.
Santos said the officers made comments about her clothes, saying she had a lot for a single mother and joked, saying “are you sure three kids are enough?”
“My girls were crying,” she said.
Santos said she plans on filing a police ethics complaint and a human rights complaint, alleging she was discriminated againt due to her race and gender.
St-Eustache police did not respond to a request for comment.