Racial profiling lawsuit: 'You can't have reconciliation until you've got truth'
Published Wednesday, August 21, 2019 2:20PM EDT
A Superior Court Judge's decision to allow a class-action lawsuit to proceed means the city of Montreal and the SPVM can no longer deny racial profiling exists.
That's according to Myrna Lashley, a professor at McGill University's Dept. of Psychiatry, who works with the city of Montreal and the Montreal police department on racial profiling and systemic racism.
"It's going to start the conversation," said Lashley.
"Judge Prevost's decision means that people no longer can question whether it actually exists. It's made it factual. Hitherto it's been 'we don't really think so, maybe it's in your mind, maybe it's not real' but here you've got a member of the judiciary, and with all due respect a white person, saying this is real, it's not just black people saying this is happening."
On Aug. 7 Judge Prevost authorized the class action lawsuit, ruling that citizens who allege they were unfairly arrested and racially profiled by Montreal police had presented sufficient evidence to support their argument.
"We've often talked about truth and reconciliation, but you can't have reconciliation until you've got truth. This allows truth to emerge," said Lashley.
For more on the lawsuit filed by the Black Coalition of Quebec and why Lashley and others hope it will result in change, watch the interview.