Founded in 1983 - United for Diversity and Racial Equality


Montreal, January 21, 2005 --- CRARR announced today new initiatives as part of its campaign to prevent racial profiling and the criminalization of racial minority youths.

Seven thousand information postcards in French and English will be disseminated throughout Montreal to inform young people of their rights and responsibilities when dealing with law enforcement and private security officers. These postcards will be distributed through community organizations, select nightclubs and hip hop concerts.

Funded by the Ministry of Citizen Relations and Immigration of Quebec and produced as a follow-up to CRARR’s conference on racial profiling which was made possible in 2003 with funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage, the postcards are the second public information tool launched by CRARR to educate minority youths on civil rights and to encourage affected individuals to report and take action against racial profiling. The postcards are available at $20 for 50 copies or $30 for 100.

In November 2003, CRARR launched information cards on the similar topic; more than 3,000 cards were distributed to members of racial minorities in key parts of the city.

In addition to the postcards, CRARR will host on February 10 and 11, 2005, a conference titled, “The Criminalization of Youths: Challenges of Crime Prevention in Racial Minonity Communities”. The conference will examine the dynamics and causes of criminalization with experts from Montreal and Toronto such as Emerson Douyon, Chantal Fredette, Myrna Lashley and Laurence Tichit from Montreal (on marginalized youths, street gangs and violence), Scot Wortley and Seema Khawja from Toronto (on racial profiling and the adverse impact of tolerance zero) and local street youth workers such Jose Sermino and Pierreson Vaval. Montreal’s Deputy Police Chief Yves Charette will also participate.

Made possible with funding from the National Crime Prevention Strategy, the Ministry of Citizen Relations and Immigration of Quebec, Human Resources Development and Skills Canada, among others, the conference will also feature discussions on policies and practices that discriminate against minorities and youths such as the fight against “incivilities” and the zero tolerance approach to crime and other minor offenses.

According to CRARR's Executive Director Fo Niemi, “With these efforts, we want to educate youths on their civil rights and responsibilities when dealing with law enforcement officers, and promote public debates and a review of policies and practices that result in minority youth criminalization, so that ultimately, we can achieve better police-community relations and safe space for all”.


- Don’t be rude & don’t argue. Be polite & courteous.

- Keep your hands where the police officer could see them.

- If you are arrested, do not resist. You may be charged with resisting arrest or obstructing justice.

- Don’t touch the police officer. You may be charged with assault.

- Write down the police officer’s name, badge & physical
description, and the police car number.

- Note the time, date and exact location of the incident.

- Keep a copy of the ticket (if you get one). You have 30 days to contest it if you so wish.

- Find witnesses (get names & telephone numbers).

- Seek medical attention & take pictures immediately if injured. Obtain the medical report afterwards.

* If you are stopped in a public place and a police officer asks for your name, address or ID, ask for the reason of your being stopped; the police has the legal obligation to give you the reason. If not, you are not required to divulge this information. To avoid a confrontation, you may want to give this information to the officer, but note the incident and report it.