VICTIM OF A HIT-AND-RUN, A CHINESE DRIVER IS DENIED INSURANCE BECAUSE OF MISLEADING POLICE REPORT
Montreal, March 10, 2015 — A Chinese resident of Sainte-Julienne, Québec who was a victim of a hit-and-run, and who was denied insurance coverage due to a police report that described him as the author of the accident, has filed a police ethics complaint and a civil rights complaint against the officer.
Mr. Yu Chao Du came from China in 2004 and has lived in the town of Sainte-Julienne in the last 6 years. He speaks English with some difficulty and has very limited knowledge of French.
Last August, while driving in Joliette, he was hit by another car driven by two young white women. The driver and the passenger came out of the car, shouted in French at Mr. Du and got back in their car to drive away, without giving their names and addresses. A witness dialed 911 for him. After some 30 minutes, as the police had not yet arrived, Mr. Du himself called 911 for help.
Half an hour later, a police officer from the Sûreté du Québec (the provincial police) arrived, asked him some questions, examined the damage to his car and filled out a report without showing it to him. At the end, the officer left him with a business card with his name and a number he could call afterwards. The officer then left.
Mr. Du contacted Industrielle Alliance, his insurance company, shortly after to claim coverage for repairs, which were estimate to be worth more than $2,000. Since he did not have the information on the driver of the car that hit him, he declared himself a victim of a hit-and-run.
In September, Mr. Du was informed by his insurance company that his claim was rejected because not only the police report contained the name and address of the other driver, but that it did not list the incident as a hit-and-run. He had to pay a fee to obtain the report from the Quebec Automobile Insurance Board and noted several errors in it, such as the wrong time of the officer’s arrival at the scene and the omission of his hit-and-run statement.
Mr. Du was most perplexed by the mention of the names and addresses of the driver of the other car, which he never learned how the officer obtained in the first place.
Worse, the officer even ticked the box “No” in the section on “hit and run” in the police report.
“It’s obvious that the police officer sided with the white driver who hit me, as if because I’m Chinese, my version does not count, ” said Mr. Du. “This really shakes my confidence in the police in this area.”
Believing that he was not fairly treated by the officer because of his race, he filed a complaint with the Quebec Police Ethics Commissioner, citing breaches of his right to equal protection and benefit of the law, and the officer having knowingly filed a false and misleading report, both of which are violations of the Code of Ethics for Police Officers.
He also mandated CRARR to file a civil rights complaint on his behalf.