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Black Laval man alleges random police stop led to $667 fine, lost job

By News Staff , Posted Dec 3, 2022, 1:17PM EST. Last Updated Dec 4, 2022, 11:26AM EST.

A Laval man says he was the victim of racial profiling earlier this year when officers allegedly stopped him randomly before handing him hundreds of dollars in fines.
Carl Luberisse believes the Sept. 13 incident involving Laval police was a clear example of police stopping a motorist with no suspicion that an offence had been committed.
Police stops under Section 636 of the Highway Safety Code – which allows officers to randomly question drivers – was banned by the Quebec Superior Court in October. In his ruling, the judge said the practice was arbitrary and a “safe conduct for racial profiling against the Black community.”
The Quebec government said last week it would be appealing the landmark ruling.
Fined for ‘obstructing officer,’ ‘failing to signal lane change’
Luberisse says he was returning to work after taking a break a nearby convenience store when he drove past a Laval police cruiser going in the opposite direction. The cruiser then u-turned and followed Luberisse.
When the Laval man arrived at work, he says officers stopped the vehicle in front of him and informed him the license plate was registered to a 30-year-old.
Luberisse, who has two children, allegedly replied “OK” and continued making his way to his work’s warehouse. The two policewomen then reportedly told him to stop, with one of them blocking his access. She then grabbed him by the arm, according to Luberisse.
Luberisse is said to have asked the officers why they wanted his ID, but they refused to answer.
“All this time you didn’t talk to me about the reason why you stopped me,” said Luberisse. “Talking about how you need my piece of ID, for what? So I don’t see no reason why I would give you my ID.
“I’m not a gangster like they said, I’m not a thug. I got two kids, I’m working, I’m a father.”
At that point, other employees were alerted to what was happening at the entrance to the warehouse.
The policewomen called for backup and two more police officers arrived. Luberisse was eventually fined $494 for “obstructing a police officer’” and $173 for “failing to signal a change of lane.”
Luberisse says he’s been left scarred by the incident.
“I’m affected because when I see cops right now, even on the side, in the back, I’m always thinking ‘oh are they going to arrest me?’ This is crazy.”
Fired a few days later
Luberisse was reportedly fired from his job a few days later because there was a “lack of work.” But a posting for his position as a forklift driver appeared on the company’s website a week later.
“I was fired. I go to my car, cried,” he recounted. “I called my mother and I said ‘what did I do wrong? I respect everything. It’s been almost a year I’m working at this job and nothing happened. Everything was OK. Because of the cops, they fired me. And for me it’s a big problem for me because now I can’t find a job. How do I survive? I need to survive.”
Alain Babineau of the Red Coalition says Quebec’s Black community has lost faith in police.
“And that’s serious stuff in terms of the legitimacy of policing,” said Babineau. “But it’s also serious stuff in terms of impact of individual police officers on the road, because now you have Black people that when they see a cop, they see an enemy and it shouldn’t be that way.”
—With files from Brittany Henriques



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