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


Montréal, July 19, 2019 - A Trinidadian man from Lasalle is suing the City of Montreal and three of its police officers for $93,000 for racial profiling, abusive arrest, excessive force, and other violations of his constitutional rights after a police intervention that once again reinforces the Montreal Police Department’s negative standing among people of color.

The facts date back to May 2015, when Ashton Boodoo, a Lasalle resident for over forty years, who works as a health care professional at the CIUSSS McGill , came home at 3:30 am from a night out with his friends after work.

After Boodoo parked his car in his usual spot near his home, two Montreal Police officers Steve Crevier and Olivier Lapointe parked behind him and aggressively approached him. It was dark and he had no clue who these men were. He was terrified, gripping the steering wheel of his parked car, too scared to move as they banged on his car and shouted at him “GET THE F-K OUT OF THE CAR!”

When the officers finally told Boodoo they were police, he begged them to stop over and over, pleading that he had not committed any crime. One of the officers smashed Boodoo’s car window, shattering glass in his face. Lapointe aimed a can of pepper spray directly into Boodoo’s face and sprayed him three times, while Crevier brutally hit Boodoo’s thigh and hand with a metal baton.

Both officers then dragged Boodoo out of his car, across the pavement that was covered in broken glass. They handcuffed him and left him on the pavement, choking on the pepper spray. Then they shoved him into the police car smashing his head on the door frame so hard that he passed out.

Boodoo was terrified and completely confused. The police barely identified themselves and never gave adequate explanation for their violent arrest.

Crevier and Lapointe detained Boodoo at the SPVM Detention Center for approximately six hours. While detained, Boodoo was grossly neglected. Officer Angelo Falbo was responsible for him at the station, but he barely even checked to see if Boodoo was still alive. The police gave Boodoo no option but to urinate and vomit on the floor. Falbo released Boodoo at 9:25 a.m.

After this horrifying night, the police suspended Boodoo’s license, laid one charge against him under the Highway Safety Code and four charges under the Criminal Code.

Boodoo spent three years of his life and over $20,000 in legal fees defending himself against these charges. In August 2018, Justice Randall Richmond at the Montreal Municipal Court stayed every charge and threw out the case in an exceptional 78- page decision, in which the judge severely questioned the officers’ conduct and testimonies.

After reviewing the evidence, Justice Richmond found that Boodoo was never aggressive and only refused get out of the car because he genuinely feared for his life. He rejected the officers’ claim that they followed Boodoo to issue traffic tickets (“I don’t even believe that. In my opinion, they were on a fishing expedition.”)

Finding that Crevier and Lapointe had no reasonable grounds to arrest Boodoo at his home that night and that they had no authority to use force against him, Justice Richmond concluded that the Officers violated Boodoo’s constitutional right to life, liberty and security of the person, his right not to be arbitrarily detained, his right to be informed of the reason for an arrest and his right to retain counsel and be informed of that right.

In addition to his heavy legal fees, Boodoo also had to take time off work to tend to his injuries and seek psychological counselling for PTSD. He also experienced major hardship due to the suspension of his driver’s license for three months.

“This case robbed me of three years of life, peace and dignity”, Boodoo said. “No money in the world can compensate for the pain, stress, humiliation, and most importantly, the loss of confidence in the Montreal Police, that I endured,” he added.

As Justice Richmond questioned the officers’ account and concluded that monetary compensation should be a part of the remedy, Boodoo is suing the City of Montreal and the three officers.

“My client experienced severe hardship and justice for three years, and we look forward to seeing the City of Montreal recognize the very serious wrongs done to Mr. Boodoo and provide a just and fair compensation,” said Boodoo’s lawyer, Aymar Missakila.

“This is one of the most appalling cases of police mistreatments and abuse of power we have seen in Montreal in recent years,” said Alain Babineau, CRARR Advisor and a retired RCMP Officer. “In light of their recently declared commitment to address racial profiling and rights violations, the City and the SPVM must step up their efforts to repair the broken relationship between them and the people of color of Montreal,” Babineau added.

Last April, the SQ informed Boodoo that no criminal charges would be filed against Officers Steve Crevier and Olivier Lapointe. A police ethics investigation is being conducted into the officers’ conduct.

CRARR is supporting Boodoo in his lawsuit. It is encouraging Montrealers of color to take legal action against police violations of their constitutional rights.