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Quebec told Longueuil police to disregard court order on racial profiling, says anti-racism group

Rob Lurie, CTV News Montreal Videojournalist
An anti-racism group says it has copies of email exchanges to support its claims that Quebec told the City of Longueuil to disregard a court order on racial profiling.
Joel DeBellefeuille, executive director of the Red Coalition, said he’s been pulled over by police a dozen times in the past 15 years.
In 2012, Longueuil police followed him and his family as they were dropping off his son at daycare. As a result of that incident, he was awarded $12,000 in damages.

But it’s what he found while following up on that case that shocked him
"I was really floored," he said in an interview Tuesday.
As a result of his case, a human rights tribunal ruled Longueuil police had to start collecting and publishing race-based data for police stops by 2021. DeBellefeuille has long claimed the city was defying the ruling.
And now he obtained exchanges between the Longueuil police chief and the human rights commission. In one dated Sept. 29, 2021, then-police chief Fady Dagher, writes the ministry informed him it was working on guidelines for all police forces to collect race-based data.
Dagher writes, "the public security ministry asked Longueuil police to wait for this solution to be put in place," adding he believed it should be ready by the end of 2021.
Dagher is set to become Montreal's next police chief.
In a follow-up exchange a few months later, Dagher writes the policy will be deployed "in the first quarter of 2022." DeBellefeuille says he's still waiting to see that policy.
"How many cases do you think from the last two-and-a-half, three years could have potentially been avoided? It could have potentially deterred some officers from intercepting people based [on] their appearance and racially profiling them?" he said.
On Nov. 18, 2022, lawyer Julius Grey sent, on behalf of DeBellefeuille, a letter to the City of Longueuil warning that it was "in breach" of the court judgment, Noovo Info reported. 
"We hereby put you on notice to comply with all provisions of said judgment within 5 days upon receipt of this notice," the letter reads. 
"Should you fail to comply, we will take out legal proceedings against you without any further warning nor delay, and we will pursue the highest legal penalty possible in this matter."
DeBellefeuille told CTV that the city will be in Superior Court in Longueuil Thursday to respond to an allegation of contempt of court over the delay in obeying the court order.
Dagher declined to comment on the email exchanges when reached by CTV News.

A spokesperson for the Longueuil police said in an email that the public security ministry never asked them to defy the court order or break the law.
Louise Quintin, a Public Safety Ministry (MSP) spokesperson, told CTV it would never make such a request.
"The MSP has been working for more than a year to implement a framework and mechanism for data collection on police stops ... a first capsule of the new plan will be delivered in the spring of 2023," she wrote in a statement.
DeBellefeuille still wonders why it's taking so long he said if police are serious about ending racial profiling, they should start following the human rights tribunal's ruling immediately.

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