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Montreal, February 7, 2012--- In a decision rendered last month, the Police Ethics Committee has imposed sanctions on two Ville de Montréal police officers for issuing penal charges against brothers Stevens and Danny Laincy without justification; however, it did not consider the case to be one involving racial profiling.

In September 2007, the two Black brothers were intercepted by two police women for “erratic driving”, when they were driving their convertible Mercedes in downtown Montreal. The police women verified the car’s registration and found the vehicle to be “suspect” in a case linked to street gangs. One of the brothers was also found to be a suspect.

When the police women intercepted the car, one of them sought to check the identity of the brother who was the passenger in the car, which is against the law. This brother saw no requirement to present his papers and the two brothers continued their way. They were followed, some minutes later, by another police car driven by officers Christian Joly and Patrick Guay. Officer Joly was informed by one of the police women that, based on information from investigators in the “street gang” section, “the passenger was the brother of the person involved in procurement in the Metro. (N.B. This information was found to be false).

Officers Joly and Guay followed the Laincy brothers through several intersections and finally intercepted them on Drummond Street. The Laincy brothers approached the police car parked in the center of the road to ask the officers if there was a problem and then returned to the put money in the parking meter. The two officers left the scene but, a few seconds later, reversed to intercept the Laincy brothers and give them two fines. The offense: to have walked in the street. The brothers could not avoid walking in the street due to the lack of space between the two cars parked behind the Mercedes.

In its decision, the Committee notes that the officers “tried to indentify Mr. Danny Laincy without just cause by fining the Laincy brothers, which is a circuitous way to obtain the information... it is unacceptable behaviour for police officers.”

The committee concluded that it was a violation of the Quebec Police Ethics Code and impose seven days suspension without pay on officer Joly and a five-day suspension on officer Guay.

Assisted by CRARR, the two brothers have also filed a complaint for racial profiling with the Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission. The police ethics complaint also mentions racial profiling, although this aspect was rejected by the Committee. This could lead to an appeal before a common law court.

Read Decision (in French only):

Police Ethics Committe Decision Joly & Guay 01-2012.pdf32.78 KB