Legault defends the work of the police after the judgment rendered on profiling

MONTREAL — Premier François Legault says we must “let the police do their job” and that it is too early to say whether Quebec will appeal the Superior Court judgment which prohibits the police from intercepting vehicles without valid reason.

The day after the court’s decision, which is hailed by the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse (CDPDJ) as a « major step forward » against racial profiling, Mr. Legault said Wednesday that he was going to take the time to analyze it.

Asked whether Quebec was going to challenge the decision, the Prime Minister simply replied: “We are not there.”

In a press briefing, before the weekly meeting of his council of ministers, Mr. Legault also expressed his support for the police forces.

“You have to understand that you have to let the police do their job, when you see the violence there is in Montreal in certain neighborhoods. And I have total confidence in the police and it is important to support them,” he said.

The CDPDJ said it believed that this decision came « above all to recognize the impact of these arrests on tens of thousands of black people who are stigmatized and monitored each time they are on the road ».

« This is in line with what the Commission has recommended on several occasions, namely the immediate and definitive ban on all police arrests without real reason of pedestrians and vehicle passengers », she indicated by communicated.

In the decision handed down on Tuesday, Judge Michel Yergeau, of the Superior Court, completely overturned a case law established a little over 30 years ago by the Supreme Court, the Ladouceur decision, which allowed interception without real reason for road safety reasons.

In the very detailed decision of 170 pages, the magistrate decides in favor of a Haitian student, Joseph-Christopher Luamba, who disputed the validity of these interceptions, after being intercepted three times without any reason by a police officer asking him to s ‘identify.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CLAC), an intervener in the case before the courts, spoke of “a major decision, a decision that overturns an outdated precedent, and this, in the public interest”.

« This is a first step in the CCLA’s fight to bring systemic and structural change to policing practices, » said CCLA equality program director Gillian Moore in a statement released Wednesday.

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