Fondé en 1983 --Unis pour la diversité et l'égalité raciale


Montreal, October 3, 2011---The case of Mr. Farid Charles, a 27-year old Black high school teacher who last year was violently yanked from a friend’s car by two Montreal Police officers, arrested and then fined, will be brought by the Police Ethics Commissioner before the Police Ethics Committee.

On April 9, 2010, around midnight, Mr. Charles and another Black male friend drove to a Caribbean restaurant at a shopping center in Lasalle, a south-west district of Montreal, to buy food. While his friend, the conductor, went in to buy food, Mr. Charles waited in the car parked in front of the restaurant. A white police officer opened the driver’s side door and ask for his driver’s license and car papers. When Mr. Charles told the officer that he had no right to open the door, the officer told him that he could do whatever he wanted. The officer insisted that Mr. Charles show his ID, without telling him why; he only told Mr. Charles to sit still and be quiet, due to break-ins in the area.

When Mr. Charles asked again why the officer wanted his ID, the officer moved quickly to the passenger side, and grabbed his arm. As Mr. Charles told him to let go of his arm since the officer had no right to open the car door and grab his arm, the latter grabbed Mr. Charles at the back of his neck to drag him out of the car, punched him in the face and dragged him to the ground.

Mr. Charles was then handcuffed and searched by the officer and his colleague. Several more police cars arrived at the scene during his arrest. Eventually Mr. Charles was fined $144 for “wandering without being able to justify his presence.”

With CRARR’s help, Mr. Charles launched a police ethics complaint against the two officers for racial profiling, excessive force, abuse of authority and bringing a charge without grounds. CRARR also filed a civil rights complaint against the officers and their employer, the City of Montreal, seeking $30,000 in damages.

The case will be heard by the Committee in Winter 2012. Mr. Charles' appearance in Municipal Court to fight his ticket will take place in January 2012. Individuals who wish to attend the hearing in support of Mr. Charles and to see how the City prosecutor and the judge handle racial profiling are invited to contact the CRARR office for more information.

Information on the case: