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Community groups urge Quebec to support end to random police stops

A coalition of community groups has urged Premier Legault not to appeal a Quebec Superior Court judgment ordering police to halt random stops and checks of vehicles.They also sent a letter to Public Security Minister François Bonnardel. Legault has stated he is against halting random checks.
The groups at the press conference in Quebec City included Collectif 1629, The Red Coalition, Groupe Lakay de Repentigny, Black History Month Roundtable, Burundian Community of Canada - Quebec Chapter, Collective for the Fight and Action Against Racism , League of Rights and Freedoms – Quebec Chapter, Group of popular education in community action of the regions of Quebec and Chaudière-Appalaches (RÉPAC 03-12); Casa-Latino- Américaine, Perinatal referral service for immigrant women in Quebec and the Public Service Alliance of Canada – Quebec Chapter.
The groups pointed out that the Quebec government has 30 days from the Oct. 25 judgment by Judge Michel Yergeau to launch an appeal, and the police have six months to stop random checks. The original case was brought by Joseph-Christopher Luamba, 22, a member of the Black community who was pulled over 10 times by police in 18 months and said he was racially profiled. The judge agreed his rights were violated under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Several groups asked the government not to appeal.
“An appeal that will go all the way to the Supreme Court takes five to eight years," said Mbaï-hadji Mbaïrewaye of the group Collectif 1629. "In the meantime, there are racialized Quebecers who will continue to be profiled."

Alain Babineau of the Red Coalition said the Quebec government should act according to how Article 636 was written in 1991, in which police "had to have reasonable motives or reasonable suspicion that a violation of the Highway Safety Act had been violated in order to be allowed to pull the vehicle over." The groups say police would still be able to randomly stop vehicles during Christmas and New Year's, to check if drivers are under the influence." The groups are also suggesting that each driver stopped be given a receipt that states the reason they were stopped and what an officer believed was the race of the driver.
Another group representative at the press conference, a resident of Quebec City , pointed out that he was arrested by police without cause.
“Discrimination exists—  people from black communities are increasingly stigmatized and arrested, it's a reality,” said Mamadou Ndiaye, director of equity groups for the Public Service Alliance of Canada.
Maxim Fortin of the Ligue des droits et libertés said two research projects the organization conducted "lead us to consider that racial profiling exists, that it is practiced on the territory of Quebec City and that [...] the phenomenon is perhaps stronger on the road than in the public space."



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