Montreal city hall adopts calls to end racial profiling

A new report from the city of Montreal is calling for a zero tolerance against racial profiling by police.

After a year of public consultations, the city’s public security commission created twenty five recommendations to limit profiling which were adopted by the city on Friday afternoon.

Montreal police have already taken steps to address public concerns of racial profiling, but the commission’s recommendations ask the force to go further.

The commission is calling for officers to cut down on street checks, collect race based data, and to clarify when and why a police officer can stop someone without apparent cause.

The report also calls for the Montreal police department to create explicit policy to discipline officers who commit discriminatory acts.

Another area of the report aimed to address what has come to be known as “driving while Black:” an experience recounted by some Black men, who say they’ve been stopped for no apparent reason while driving.

Those types of traffic stops could happen on both city roads and highways, the latter being under provincial jurisdiction. The committee is calling on Quebec to gather more data on police stops, and to have the data reviewed independently.

The recommendations are not binding, and the city's executive committee has six months to review them.

Still, a coalition of community groups and civil rights activists called the report a good first start to change.

In the meantime, Montreal’s police department says it’s reviewing the report, and that it welcomes any proposals that aim to balance the security of citizens and respect for individual freedoms.

SIGN UP NOW

Stay up-to-date and in-the-know by subscribing to one of our newsletters