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Profiling class action against Montreal police a 'victory for justice': group

Dan Philip, president of the Black Coalition of Quebec, responds to a question during a news conference in Montreal on Tuesday, August 13, 2019. A Quebec Superior Court judge has authorized a class action lawsuit against the City of Montreal on behalf of citizens who allege they were unfairly arrested and racially profiled by the city's police. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

MONTREAL — The head of the Black Coalition of Quebec says a class action lawsuit against the City of Montreal is a chance to address what he calls rampant abuse and profiling of the city’s minorities by the police.

Dan Philip said today that a judge’s approval of the lawsuit is a victory not only for the black community but also for justice in Quebec and Canada.

On Aug. 7, a Quebec Superior Court judge authorized a class action against Montreal on behalf of citizens who allege they were unfairly arrested, detained, and racially profiled by the city’s police between mid-August 2017 and Jan 2019.

In his ruling, Justice Andre Prevost said the class action would address a number of questions, including whether city representatives acted in a discriminatory fashion and violated the rights of the plaintiffs, many of whom allege they were unfairly targeted for arrest or questioning due to their race.

Philip says the city is complicit in the abuse of power and racial profiling that occurred because it sided with the police against members of the community.

The coalition currently estimates it will have about 150 people joining the lawsuit, but that number could rise.

The Canadian Press