Founded in 1983 - United for Diversity and Racial Equality


Montreal, February 18, 2011 --- CRARR has requested Quebec Attorney General Jean-Marc Fournier to review the Crown’s decision to drop criminal charges against two white female students who assaulted a Black girl in front of her school while repeatedly shouting the N-word at her and her mother.

The victim is a 15-year old Black girl in Saint-Constant, a small municipality near Montreal, who was exposed to habitual harassment and bullying by fellow students. On June 15, 2010, the bullying lead to physical violence when the victim was physically assaulted and subjected to racial slurs, including the N-word, and other demeaning terms by two white female students.

The victim called her mother to come to pick her up when the two students were threatening her. When the victim’s mother and her son arrived, they witnessed the verbal and physical assault being perpetrated against the victim. At one point, one of the students attempted to assault the victim with a scooter helmet while calling her the N-word. The victim’s mother intervened to stop the assault and seized the scooter helmet before it hit her daughter.

The police were called at the scene of the incident and downplayed at first the racial element of the incident. When the school principal arrived, he blamed the victim for the incident and suspended her from school for three days. At first, the police was reluctant to treat the incident as a hate-motivated assault, until CRARR had to formally intervene with the police chief. A police investigation was then carried out, resulting in one of the girls being charged.

After the violent incident, the victim repeatedly received text messages on her cell phone, threatening her with physical violence. Her mother had to press the police to examine the threatening text messages, but to this day, the author or authors of these messages have not been charged with uttering death threats. Apparently, the police only warned the sender to stop texting these threats.

A couple of days before Christmas 2010, the victim and her mother were shocked to learn from the police that the Crown had withdrawn all the criminal charges against the two students due to lack of evidence. A written request to Attorney General Fournier was made on behalf of the family, in which CRARR Civil Rights Counselor Florence Mudzongo states that “we remain preoccupied not only by the prosecutor’s decision to drop all charges, but also by the apparent reluctance and difficulty on the part of the police and the Crown in that judicial district to address what is obviously a hate crime.”

”We believe that Ms. [X] and her family are entitled to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law, as well as other rights as guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Quebec Charter. In light of an obvious case of assault, intimidation and making death threats, we are very concerned that their being Black, and the aggressors’ race, have resulted in a case of unequal justice, or denial of justice, ” wrote Ms. Mudzongo.

On behalf of the girl and her mother, CRARR filed a civil rights complaint against the two students for the hate-motivate assault and the school board for failure to protect the victim from race-based bullying and violence.

Quebec has no official hate crime policy. In the last three years, CRARR has successfully brought forward cases before the human rights commission and the human rights tribunal that dealt with physically violent discrimination and harassment based on race and sexual orientation, resulting in court decisions that award a total of more than $90,000 in damages being awarded to victims.