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Montreal, November 4, 2010 --- The Quebec Police Ethics Committee has imposed 23 days of suspension without pay on a Montreal Police officer who assaulted, charged and violated the civil rights of a young Black man in March 2008.

Officer Jonathan Roy was found guilty of numerous breaches of the Code of Police Ethics, including intimidation, illegal detention and arrest, unjustified use of physical force and abusive charges. The committee, a specialized administrative tribunal, ordered a total of 30 days of suspension without pay; due to the concurrent nature of some sanctions, the net suspension is 23 days.

The March 2008 incident involves Mr. Kenny Andrew Hopkinson, a then 21-year old Black youth who was in the Cote Des Neiges Plaza with his mother. He was taking to a friend on the phone when two police officers, including Officer Roy, walked by. Officer Roy heard Mr. Hopkinson say something and engaged in a verbal exchange with the latter; Officer Roy then hit Mr. Hopkinson on his chest after accusing the latter for calling him as a “piece of s-t.” Officer Roy then proceeded to arrest the young man by wrestling him to the ground and use pepper-spray on him; he later charged Mr. Hopkinson with assaulting a police officer.

Assisted by CRARR, Mr. Hopkinson filed a complaint with the Police Ethics Commissioner, who upheld his complaint and brought the case before the Committee. In June 2010, the tribunal ruled in favor of the youth and held that Officer Roy violated five different provisions of the Quebec Police Ethics Code.

In addition to the police ethics complaint, Mr. Hopkinson also mandated CRARR to file a civil rights complaint against Officer Roy. The case is still being investigated by the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission.

Officer Roy was also involved in the fatal shooting of Mohamed Anas Bennis, a Muslim resident of Cote Des Neiges who was killed in an altercation with the police in 2005. The Coroner's inquest into the shooting has received clearance from the courts to go ahead after the City of Montreal and the police union tried to stop it.

Speaking of behalf of Mr. Hopkinson, CRARR's Executive Director Fo Niemi stated that his client was expecting a more severe sanction for the violence and abuse of police power he experienced.

“We need to send a message that police violations of Black people's civil rights in Montreal must carry a heavy sanction, because they are just too many and they damage people's lives and police-community relations,” he said.

To read the decision and other articles (in French only):

PEC Decision Roy 11-10.pdf42.46 KB