Joel DeBellefeuille has been embroiled in a longstanding battle with the Longueuil police for almost a decade and on Tuesday, he announced yet another victory.
In March 2012, DeBellefeuille was driving his son to daycare in his BMW when he was pulled over by police and asked for his identification.
The officers told him it was a random traffic stop, but the Longueuil resident argued that those kinds of stops happen to him all the time.
He mandated the Center for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR) to help him file a complaint.
“It’s a form of official recognition that a lot of things still need to be done and that the city needs to show results,” said CRARR executive director Fo Niemi. “Processes are important, documents are important, statements are important, but there doesn’t seem to be any concrete results in terms of institutional actions or institutional change in Longueuil, and that’s what the human rights committee is saying today.”
This is the third favourable ruling for DeBellefeuille.
He first filed a complaint about police discrimination back in 2009, after he was pulled over by two officers who have since been reprimanded by the police ethics commission.
Then last year, charges were dropped in Longueuil municipal court after DeBellefeuille contested a ticket he got in 2015 for not wearing a seatbelt.
He argued he was wearing one and that police had racially profiled him.
“It’s still happening – not only with me, but other people. Maybe if the city showed some results on their action plan that they created, maybe the city, maybe myself, maybe CRARR will actually believe that something’s being done about it,” said DeBellefeuille.
The City of Longueuil has until Friday to comply with the commission’s recommendations. If they fail to do so, the case will go to the human rights tribunal.
Global News reached out to the city, but it declined to comment on the case, saying it was still analyzing the decision.