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


Montréal, QC, CANADA, October 21, 2008
---CRARR is looking for young Black males aged 14 and over who have been unjustly stopped, searched, arrested or fined by the police at or near the Fairview Shopping Center bus station within the last two years.

CRARR is documenting the extent of racial profiling and other racially discriminatory police practices in the area, which have often been reported by Black youths and their families. The civil rights complaint filed by CRARR last week, on behalf of a 24year old Black male who was stopped, detained, handcuffed and strip searched in
public, would be the first official complaint involving racial profiling in that area.

On September 10, 2008, Mr. Devon Grenade, a graphic design student, was accosted by three police officers around 6:00 PM as he was about to board a bus at the bus station to go home from school. Without any explanation, the officers conducted a preliminary search of his bag, portfolio and clothes. They let him go but then came on the bus to detain him. They then brought him to a nearby bus shelter, where they handcuffed him and pulled down his pants almost to his knees to search him. After a thorough search of his belongings, including his wallet and shoes, the officers released him without a single explanation or apology.

At the same time, the police also detained and handcuffed another young Black male whom Mr. Grenade does not know.

Mr. Grenade mandated CRARR to file complaints with the human rights commission and the Quebec Police Ethics Commissioner for racial profiling and gross violations of his civil rights, including the right to be informed of the grounds for his arrest, the right to be treated with human dignity during an arrest, and the right not to be subjected to unreasonable searches.

In the civil rights complaint, CRARR also challenges the police practices of pulling down one’s pants in public to conduct a strip search, which it considers discriminatory and abusive because it is often done to Black males, according to anectodal evidence.

CRARR is seeking $40,000 in damages from the police officers and their employer, the City of Montreal. It also asks the human rights commission to investigate the pattern of police intervention at the Fairview Shopping Center bus station to determine the extent to which young Black males are subject to racial profiling and abusive search and detention.