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'Waste of time': Man speaks out after commission dismisses profiling complaint against Repentigny police


A human rights group is calling on Quebec to review how complaints against police are handled, focusing on one force in particular: the Service de police de la Ville de Repentigny (SPVR).

Fo Niemi, head of the Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR), claimed complaints against Repentigny police brought forward to the police ethics commissionner are too-often thrown out.

"Over the last 10 years, there hasn't been one single decision or tribunal on racial profiling in Repentigny despite all these complaints," Niemi said at a press conference Sunday.

He was joined by teacher Francois Ducas, a Black man who says he was unjustly stopped and questioned by SPVR officers five years ago.

Ducas felt he had been racially profiled because he was driving a luxury car -- and it wasn't the first time he'd been stopped.

But after filing a complaint, Ducas said he could tell right away that mediator was in favour of police.

The mediator allegedly told Ducas that nothing would have happened if he had just obeyed police orders.

"All I wanted [...] was to make myself heard and get justice," he recounted.

"I could see for myself that it was a waste of time."

Niemi pointed out that while the police ethics commissioner regularly dismisses racial profiling complaints, other tribunals rule in favour.

In Ducas' case, Quebec's human rights tribunal awarded him $8,000.

"We have to ask the question as to, is the police ethics system working when it comes to Repentigny police," Niemi said.

In a statement, Quebec's Public Security Ministry said that when it comes to the police ethics commissioner, the complaint process is independent and rigorous.

While the City of Repentigny wouldn't comment specifically on CRARR's statements, a spokesperson told CTV news that for more than two years, Repentigny has worked to modernize its police force to serve all citizens.

But Niemi says it's not enough.

"We need to see more training for police ethics people. Sometimes you get to the tribunal, you can see that the police ethics committee judges just don't understand racial profiling."

Ducas says the solution is abolishing article 636 of Quebec's highway safety code, which allows police to stop drivers randomly.

"The only thing that can put an end to our suffering is the abolishment of that law." Top Stories

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