Repentigny police still accused of racial profiling

Repentigny police still accused of racial profiling

On May 22, Greater Montreal was still confined for three days. Team sports are still prohibited, even outdoors. In the parc de la Seigneurie in Repentigny, several young blacks are playing basketball or soccer when four police cars arrive on the scene.

While several young people are on the run, Philippe Jonathan Guerre remains in place. They gave everyone who stayed a ticket, then I was one of those who stayed, says the young man of 22 years. The nine tickets total more than $ 11,500.

After we left, other people came to play [des Blancs], worse the police just gave them a warning.

Philippe Jonathan Guerre

The latter says to himself frustrated of the situation. According to him, the rules must be applied in the same way for everyone, regardless of skin color.

Me when I came to live in that town [Repentigny], I did not think that my children would live worse than me who grew up in Montreal-Nord and Rivière-des-Prairies, confides Rose Alcide, mother of one of the young blacks involved.

No double treatment according to the police

The police deny having discriminated in this case.

On May 22, we gave reports to white people in one park and then we gave reports to people from the black community in another park. What I can tell you is that we have given findings to both whites and blacks.

Lison Ostiguy, Acting Deputy Director of the Repentigny Police Department (SPVR)

The SPVR says that some of the members of this group had been warned a few days earlier of the rules, which they deny. Young people now plan to file a complaint with the Commission des droits de la personne et de la jeunesse.

History repeating itself

We in the field, we see nothing except that in the field, racial profiling is increasing every day, said Pierre-Richard Thomas, president of the group of black citizens of Repentigny at a press conference. The latter believes that the City must first recognize that there is a problem.

This is not the first time that Repentigny police have been accused of racial profiling. In April 2019 the Center for Research-Action on Race Relations had counted nine cases in six months. It is clear that there is a serious problem of systemic anti-black racism in Repentigny. Looks like black men are being hunted down by the police in this town, said the director general of CRARR, Fo Niemi.

At the end of 2018, of the 121 police officers working for the SPVR, three were from visible minorities. It would take four times that for that to be proportional to the share of visible minorities in this city of 84,000 inhabitants.

Based on information from Jacaudrey Charbonneau

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