For Media Inquiries & Assistance Please Call: 1-800.735.4086

Montrealers allege 'racial profiling' during police intervention on Saint-Jean Baptiste Day

Organizers of a Montreal Caribbean festival are looking for clarity from police as to why a large group of officers interrupted their pre-festival barbecue on Saint-Jean Baptiste Day.
"It was like a swarm of bees," said party organizer Gemma Raeburn-Baynes, vice-president of the Spice Island Cultural Day Association of Quebec.
While police say they were there to investigate a noise complaint, organizers told CTV they were puzzled and disappointed by the police presence, which they felt was unusually large as compared to their party. 

In a video sent to CTV News, several Montreal officers, as well as others from the RCMP, are seen speaking to partygoers in front of several police vehicles parked nearby the venue – a restaurant parking lot off Saint-Jacques Street in Lachine.
"To me, I think I think it was racial profiling," said Raeburn-Baynes, who estimated there were about 15 officers at the intervention.
"It just didn’t make sense and even if as I said, the first cop said it was two complaints of noise. I mean, it was 8:30, it was St-Jean Baptist. Everybody in their backyard was having an event."
She suggested that if there really was an issue with noise, they could have sent one police car to ask them to turn down the music "and be on their merry way."
She says police arrived at around 8:40 p.m. on June 24. The party was a fundraiser for the Spice Island Cultural Festival set to commence next weekend. People had gathered to barbeque and celebrate the holiday. Raeburn-Baynes said they were not selling alcohol.
"Children were playing in the yard, parents were there, mothers and fathers and seniors and young people, and they got scared (by the officers)," she said. "It was really disheartening. It killed the party, we had such good vibes." 
A DJ was there, but “the music was not excessive,” she said, adding that partygoers could hear music coming from other Saint-Jean parties nearby over their own.
"I don’t know if I’m too sensitive," she said, "but I really thought that it was because we were Black and we were gathered together.”
“It was really disheartening. It killed the party,” she added. “After the police left, everybody left. The DJ turned off his music and packed up his stuff.”
Montreal police confirmed officers “went to an establishment on Saint-Jacques St.” in a statement to CTV.
"After having made the organizer of the event aware of the noise in the parking lot of the establishment, the officers left the premises without issuing any statement of offence," read the statement.
Among those responding officers were members of the ÉCLIPSE unit, which specializes in fighting violent crime. Montreal’s police department says they were there as part of an over-arching strategy to increase "the population’s sense of security."
"As part of the CENTAURE strategy, police officers from the ÉCLIPSE unit, accompanied by partners from the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), make sporadic visits to various bars and restaurants in the city," read the statement.

"The ECLIPSE unit provides support to the units, collects information and intelligence, and increases police visibility and the population's sense of security."
But this intervention didn’t achieve that goal, according to Alain Babineau, spokesperson and coordinator on issues of racial profiling and public safety for anti-racism group The Red Coalition.
"The way they went about it is totally counter-productive to any form of community policing,” he said. “(It’s) counter-productive any type of community relations that you’re trying to establish."
Babineau called the intervention an example of “over-policing.”
"'Over-policing' is simply an iteration of racial profiling, where a particular community is over-policed with this belief that they could be involved in criminality."
Raeburn-Baines told us they have asked police to please not repeat the incident when their event, sponsored by Grenada Tourism and the City of Montreal, unfolds July 8-10. On Thursday afternoon, she said they hadn’t yet received a reply. 



Family of Montreal man killed while unlawfully jailed wants systemic racism inquiryLa famille de l’homme demande une enquête sur le racisme systémiqueSystemic racism inquiry called for by family of man who died after being pepper-sprayed at Bordeaux prisonDétenu mort à la prison de Bordeaux: une coalition exige plus de transparence sur le milieu carcéralUN GROUPE ANTIRACISTE RÉCLAME UNE ENQUÊTE PUBLIQUE SUR LA MORT DU DÉTENU DE BORDEAUXRights group seeks public inquiry into death of man in Montreal jailLobby group seeks public inquiry in Montreal man's jail deathAnti-racism group calls for release of video in connection with Montreal jail deathCivil rights group calls for inquiry into death of illegally jailed 21-year-old black manUne coalition réclame la publication de la vidéo de l’interventionLobby group seeks public inquiry, release of video in Montreal man’s jail deathAnti-racism group claims Quebec told Longueuil police to ignore court order on racial profilingAllison Hanes: Montreal prison death demands urgent answersRed Coalition: Quebec ministry told Longueuil police force to defy court order on racial profilingQuebec told Longueuil police to disregard court order on racial profiling, says anti-racism groupCivil rights group accuses Quebec of covering up race-based police dataQue s’est-il passé à Bordeaux ?Public inquiry ordered into jail death of illegally detained Montreal manPublic inquest to be held into death of man in Montreal jailChief coroner orders public inquiry into death of 21-year-old illegally detained at Bordeaux jailCoroner orders public inquiry into Montreal man's jail deathIl y aura une enquête publique du coroner sur la mort de Nicous SpringRed Coalition calling for investigation into systemic racism in Quebec jailsChief Coroner orders public inquiry into death of Nicous SpringPolice union head tells Montreal's new chief: staffing shortages 1st, community policing 2ndPROFILAGE RACIAL: UNE PLAINTE OFFICIELLE DÉPOSÉE CONTRE LA VILLE DE LONGUEUILCoalition alleges contempt of court against LongueuilPROFILAGE RACIAL: «LA CAQ DOIT TENIR SES PROMESSES», ESTIME LA COALITION ROUGEGroups to kick off Black History Month with measures to fight racism
Civil rights group questions Montreal police conduct after officers wrongly detain Black man, misplace key to handcuffsPolice detention criticized as racial profilingMontreal cops should apologize to Black man suspected of stealing own car: groupBlack man handcuffed after car Montreal police thought was stolen ended up being hisUn groupe contre le racisme demande des excuses à la police de MontréalLongueuil, Que., given ultimatum on release of race-based traffic stop dataRacially-profiled man challenges Longueuil to present race-based police data, threatens suitRed Coalition takes legal action against city of Longueuil and police force‘Mistake No. 1 was putting him in handcuffs’| The Corner BoothInterpellations sans motif: un retour en arrière demandéRights groups call on Quebec not to appeal ruling on police checksProfilage racial : le gouvernement Legault prié de ne pas faire appelProfilage racial: Le gouvernement du Québec prié de ne pas faire appelCommunity groups urge Quebec to support end to random police stopsThe Red Coalition Mandates The Law Firm Grey Casgrain to Take Further Legal Action Against The City of LongueuilRed Coalition takes more legal action against City of Longueuil and its police forceCanada sees rise in homicides, Statistics CanadaRights groups optimistic about selection of Montreal police chief who opposes racial profilingFady Dagher promet un équilibre entre répression et préventionQuébec porte en appel l’interdiction des interceptions policières aléatoires sur la route


no categories


no tags