BLACK ACCUSED FILED FOR APPEAL, CITING TRIAL JUDGE'S ERRORS ON RACE AND RACIAL PROFILING
Montreal, November 16, 2015 — Believing that the trial judge in Valleyfield made serious errors of law in her interpretation of race and racial profiling, a Black man found guilty of possession of a knuckle duster has sought leave to appeal the decision to the Quebec Superior Court.
If the appeal is allowed, the case will have national ramifications for racial profiling and police stops of cars driven by young men of color. Several legal issues are at the core of the appeal, including the question whether the judge can subjectively and arbitrarily qualify a person's race, and credibility, by dismissing his claim of racial profiling on the basis of his “not so obvious ethnic characteristics” (“caractéristiques ethniques peu évidentes”). However, the appellant, a biracial (of Black-White mix) man in his early twenties, was a backseat passenger, and claimed that the car was stopped as the police officers saw that the driver was a young man of Indian background.
The judge, who is White, also ruled that the fact that the driver is of Indian background and the two other passengers are of Arabic origin does not constitute sufficient evidence that the “apparent characteristics” of the men played a role in the stop, since there was no description of these men's physical characteristics.
The man is represented by Aymar Missakila, lawyer. CRARR is assisting in the appeal.
More information will follow