Fondé en 1983 --Unis pour la diversité et l'égalité raciale

DRIVING WHILE BLACK IN LONGUEUIL: JOEL DEBELLEFEUILLE’S RACIAL PROFILING CASE HEADS TO HUMAN RIGHTS TRIBUNAL



Montréal, April 29, 2018 -Montréal, April 29, 2018 – Joel Debellefeuille’s racial profiling case will head to the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal as the City of Longueuil has declined to heed the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission’s decision.

Last Thursday, the City’s lawyer informed the Commission that the City would not comply with the Commission’s demand of $12,000 in damages for Debellefeuille, for violation of his civil rights, and remedies that include training on racial profiling and an update of the City’s 2015-2017 Action Plan against racism.

“I had expected this kind of response”, Debellefeuille said. “There still is a lot of denial and pretension, both at the individual and institutional levels, that racism does not exist.”

In March 2012, Debellefeuille was tailed for 11 blocks when he was driving his son in his BMW to a daycare center in Brossard. Two Longueuil police officers, Jean-Claude Bleu Voua (who is Black) and Dominic Polidoro, who were driving in the opposite direction, made a U-turn and followed Debellefeuille's car. When Debellefeuille stopped his car in front of the daycare center and carried his son inside, the police car drove on and made a U-turn to intercept him and demand to see his ID to “verify.”

“I look forward to proceedings before the Human Rights Tribunal, because it will provide residents of Longueuil and others a unique opportunity to see what the City in general and the Longueuil Police in particular have actually done in recent years on racism and discrimination,” Debellefeuille stated.

“We hope that senior City officials will testify at the Human Rights Tribunal on the actions set out in the 2015-2017 Action Plan, which has, by the way, expired without any concrete results being made public,” CRARR Executive Director Fo Niemi said.

Debellefeuille also has another complaint filed against two other Longueuil police officers due to another “Driving While Black” interception in October 2015. This case is still under investigation by the Police Ethics Commissioner and the Human Rights Commission.

CRARR also has four other racial profiling and bias complaints at the Commission, which it filed in 2014 on behalf of four English-speaking Black individuals against the City and the Longueuil Police.