Quebec human rights commission urges police to end routine street checks

MONTREAL — Quebec's human rights commission says Montreal police must definitively end the practice of routine street checks.

Commission vice-president Myrlande Pierre made the comments today to members of the city's public security committee.

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Pierre says police must also begin to collect reliable data when officers make arrests or stop people, in order to evaluate whether systemic biases are leading to unfounded street checks.

The committee is meeting to discuss a recent report delivered by university researchers that reveals black, Arab and Indigenous people are stopped by police significantly more often than white people in Montreal.

The report says black and Indigenous Montrealers are between four and five times more likely to be subjected to street checks than the rest of the population, while people of Arab descent are twice as likely to be stopped.

Montreal police deputy director Marc Charbonneau says he accepts the report and his force will come up with a policy governing how officers make street checks by March 2020.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 22, 2019.

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