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Montreal, October 10, 2017 — The Police Ethics Committee has found that “Agent 728” of the Montreal Police violated the rights of an English-speaking South Asian health professional and committed several police ethics violations by using excessive force, demonstrating a lack of respect, and putting a citizen in danger.

The case involves Mr. Julian Menezes, who is of Indian background. He was violently arrested in May 2012 by Montreal police officers Stéfanie Trudeau (publicly known as “Agent 728”), and Constantinos Samaras in the Plateau Mont-Royal district while coming home from a wedding with two white female friends.

When he and his two friends saw the two police officers intercepting and speaking to a visibly shaken cyclist, the three, out of concern, inquired as to what had happened. The cyclist explained that he was ostensibly being ticketed by the officers for not having the right light on his bike, but that he believed it was for wearing a “red square” (a symbol worn by students demonstrating against Quebec tuition increase at the time).

The three offered to remain on the scene as witnesses and to support the cyclist. Upon hearing this, Trudeau became aggressive, accused Menezes of being drunk, grabbed him and threw him to the ground. Both officers then handcuffed Menezes, pushed him hard into the police car, spraining his ankle in the process and then drove him away. Purposefully leaving him without a seatbelt, the officers subjected him to a “Starlight Tour”, whereby he was transported to a district far from the arrest. Along the way, Trudeau repeatedly and aggressively braked causing his face to hit the plexiglass divider within the car several times. He was finally released in an area, with which he was unfamiliar, in the North-end of the island at 3:30 am without the means to get home.

While in the police vehicle, he was subjected to racial slurs (including being called a “f-cking Indian” by Trudeau) and told that he was skinny and so would “ get f---ed in the ass” in jail. In addition, he received a fine of $146 for “continuing to do an act” which the ticket failed to specify.

Menezes sought CRARR's help in filing a complaint with the Police Ethics Commissioner and another complaint with the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission.

In a decision released last Friday, the Police Ethics Committee found Trudeau guilty of the five following Code of Police Ethics violations:

❏ Lacking respect and politeness required to uphold the confidence of the public;
❏ Negligently putting Menezes' health and safety at risk by not securing his seat belt during the drive in the patrol car;
❏ Not using the patrol car with prudence and discernment by recklessly driving;
❏ Failure to identify herself and
❏ Excessive force.

While upholding five misconduct charges, the Committee also dismissed four other charges against Trudeau relating to the racial slur, the fine without justification, illegal detention, search and arrest, and abandoning Menezes far from his home.

On the charge of using racial slurs, the Committee found it difficult to decide between competing versions of events and chose not to uphold the citation by the Commissioner, despite noting that Menezes presented articulated and credible testimony.

“Of course, I am disappointed that the Committee dismissed four of the nine citations against former officer Trudeau,” said Menezes. “I understand that the dismissal is, for the most part, based on technical evidentiary reasoning. Still, I cannot help feeling that the Committee's decision illustrates the shortcomings of this process in cases involving racial discrimination.”

“What evidence apart from your own testimony do you have when you are a lone citizen facing two police officers in the dark of night?”, he asked.

In a decision rendered last month, the Committee imposed two penalties of a total of two-day suspension without pay on Samaras, Trudeau's partner, for failure to intervene to stop Trudeau's violation of police ethics during the intervention.

The Committee's sanctions will be made known in another decision to be released in several months.

Menezes also has a pending case before the Human Rights Tribunal against Trudeau and Samaras, and their employer, the City of Montreal. The Human Rights Commission is claiming $40,000 on his behalf against the City and the officers for violation of his civil rights.