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Red Coalition: Quebec ministry told Longueuil police force to defy court order on racial profiling

By News Staff, Posted Jan 11, 2023, 11:58AM EST., Last Updated Jan 11, 2023, 1:09PM EST.

Documents obtained by anti-racism group, Red Coalition, show the former Longueuil police chief saying he was told by Quebec’s Ministry of Public Security to wait until a province wide approach to collecting race-based data was put in place before following through on their own mechanism to collect race-based data on all police stops – which they were ordered to do by a Quebec judge.
As a result of a racial profiling case on November 17, 2020 – the Human Rights Tribunal ruled the City of Longueuil had to implement the collection and publication of race-based data on all police interceptions within 24 months of the ruling. They were also ordered to provide training on racial profiling to all Longueuil police officers within the same time frame.
The Red Coalition says to date none of these court orders were done by the city, and the group has taken legal action against them.
“The City of Longueuil were served two demand letters in November 2022 by the Red Coalition, cautioning Mayor Catherine Fournier that they were in breach of the court orders and if they did not reveal the data or demonstrate that officers received training on racial profiling; within 5 days, they would initiate a motion in court for contempt of court,” the group said by email.
Using the access to information act, the Red Coalition obtained letters between the President of the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse, Philippe-Andre Tessier and the former head of the Longueuil Police, Fady Dagher dating back to 2021 in which they discuss the specifics of the court orders.
In one of those letters dated Sept. 29, 2021, it is revealed : “That the Commission was actively working with the MSP (Ministry of Public Security) to implement a single solution that would allow all police forces in the province to collect data regarding the perceived or presumed racial affiliation of individuals who are the subject of a police stop. As a result, the MSP has asked SPAL (Longueuil police force) to wait for the implementation of this solution.”
“The Red Coalition applauds the efforts to implement a plan and strategy to combat the very real phenomenon of racial profiling, however, it is inconceivable that the Ministry of Public Security led at the time by Deputy Premier & former Minister of Public Security Genevieve Guilbault, instructed Mr. Dagher to purposely defy a court order and break the law,” said Joel DeBellefeuille, Executive Director of the Red Coalition.
CityNews reached out to both the Longueuil Police Force and the Quebec Ministry of Public Security and have not yet received statements.

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