Request for class action suit launched on behalf of alleged police profiling victims

A Montreal lawyer and a local black community civil rights group are teaming up to file a request for a class action lawsuit on behalf of people alleging racial profiling by Montreal police — including the lawyer himself who is black.

Jacky-Éric Salvant said he was minding his own business in his BMW while waiting for a friend outside a building on Pie-IX Boulevard on March 21 at around 10 p.m. when police officers approached him.

Salvant said they asked if his BMW actually belonged to him and also asked for i.d., but they declined to give a reason. Salvant said four officers were surrounding him.

Salvant said they left him alone after he showed his business card.

Salvant said police had no justification for this attitude. He added that police did not have the right to ask him for i.d. since he was in a private parking lot.

"If it was Mr. or Mrs. Joe Everybody, it could have degenerated. I'm a lawyer, I know the laws, it calmed things down a bit," Salvant told CJAD 800 News.

"But in Quebec, today in 2018, do you have to be a lawyer to be able to live in peace and not have to go through situations like this?"

Salvant said he's compiled as many as 30 similar complaints so far for their class action request which he said he'd be filing soon.

Dan Philip, president of the Black Coalition of Quebec, said it's time for stronger measures.

"Why now? Because it continues. It becomes a cancer in society," said Philip.

"Up until now, whatever has been done is not effective."

A spokesperson for Montreal police says they won't comment on the suit, as long as it's before the courts.