Racial profiling: visible minorities in Montreal not surprised by SPVM report

Visible minorities and activists in Montreal say they aren't surprised by the findings in a report commissioned by the SPVM.

The report found that Black, Arab and Indigenous Montrealers are more likely to be stopped by the police than white Montrealers.

Kenrick Mccrae said he's lived the realities of police racial profiling. In 2017, while driving in Montreal West he was stopped by officers who said the lights over his license plate weren't working. He said they were. He started filming the officers but was cuffed and put in the back of their police car.

Recently, the police stopped Mccrae while he was cleaning his car outside his home. They found beer bottles in the garbage bag he was using, administered a sobriety test, and wrote him a $482 ticket for drunk driving.

He wasn't surprised to hear that visible minorities are more likely to be stopped by the police.

"We in the community, we live it every day. We know what's going on and when we complain it just goes in one ear and passes through the other ear," he said.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault called the report troubling on Tuesday but added he was confident Montreal's police chief could make the necessary changes.

Activists, like Fo Niemi, director of the Centre for research action on race relations (CRARR), said the findings in the report highlight the need for systemic change in the SPVM.

"It's an important report that validates what we have known underground for a long time," he said. "It provides a lot of solid data in order to move forward, if there is a will to move forward for change."