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


Montreal, May 3, 2010 --- CRARR is calling upon Black and other minority metro riders who have been abusively stopped, detained and fined by Montreal Transit Authority (STM) Inspectors for lack of proof of payment (POP) of fare to come forward to file civil rights complaints against the public transit corporation.

CRARR has recently received more calls and complaints from Black metro riders about abusive stops and violent arrests by STM inspectors, despite the absence of any rider conduct that justified such violence.

A pattern of violent behaviors and practices directed at riders of color is emerging when all these cases are put together. The latest reported case involves a 15-year old Black girl who was physically roughed up by three inspectors in front of her teen-age friends in a metro station downtown, requiring medical attention. Two weeks ago, a Black health care worker who was coming home in the Cote Des Neiges district was accosted for POP check; she ended up being violently arrested, fined and eventually charged with a criminal offense.

CRARR is presently representing 8 Black women and men ranging from 20 to 65 years of age in complaints of racial profiling against the STM, filed before the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission. Despite the Commission's critically slow pace in investigating complaints and reluctance to examine these cases from a systemic angle, CRARR continues to urge racialized metro riders to take action against these practices. Four more civil rights complaints will be filed in the coming days.

The lack of institutional accountability is evident: since the press conference held last February by CRARR, DESTA and other residents of Little Burgundy, the STM Board of Directors still has not held a public meeting to engage with citizens on its POP check practices and civil rights violations of metro riders. Consequently, there are discussions to hold top STM managers liable for failing to take measures to prevent racial profiling and other forms of discrimination in public transit.