Châteauguay man takes ‘driving while black’ case to Quebec Superior Court

Click to play video: 'Châteauguay man alleges racial profiling during 2015 police encounter' Châteauguay man alleges racial profiling during 2015 police encounter
Mon, Jul 9: A Châteauguay man who says he and his family were victims of racial profiling during a police encounter in 2015 is taking his case to Quebec Superior Court. As Global's Cora MacDonald reports, human rights advocacy group CRAAR calls it “another incident of driving while black.” – Jul 9, 2018

A Châteauguay man is taking his battle with police to Quebec Superior Court in Valleyfield in what a human rights advocacy group calls a case racial profiling.

John Chilcott, who is being represented by the center for research-action and race-relations (CRAAR), is appealing a municipal court ruling that maintained three traffic tickets totaling over $1,000 stemming from a police interaction that occurred nearly three years ago.

READ MORE: A ‘part of daily life’: Racial profiling and shopping while black in Canada

Chilcott claims he was followed, stopped and pepper sprayed by a Châteauguay police officer while driving his daughters to school in December 2015.

Chilcott initially fought the tickets but he lost the case in May 2017. In this round, CRAAR says Chilcott is appealing whether the judge correctly interpreted the evidence of racial profiling.

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Fo Niemi, the executive director of CRARR, said Chilcott was wrongly accused and it is “yet another incident of driving while black.”

“Basically driving while black is an expression used in United States by many African Americans who were basically too often pulled over by police while their driving in their casual everyday clothing,” said Niemi told Global News.

A video shared online by Rosemarie Edwards, Chilcott’s wife, gained online attention at the time.

WATCH BELOW: Châteauguay man’s interaction with police caught on video

Click to play video: 'Chateauguay man’s interaction with police caught on video' Chateauguay man’s interaction with police caught on video
Chateauguay man’s interaction with police caught on video – Jul 9, 2018

The video shows a police who is wearing cowboy which was used a pressure tactic during work related negotiations.

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Niemi added Chilcott’s daughters suffered consequences as a result of the interaction, stating they had also been hit with pepper spray.

“The video show they were really hurt by the pepper spray, not only physical but psychological,” he said.

“And, the sad thing about it is they basically had to go through a period of recovery where they had to take time off.”

Aymar Missakila, the lawyer representing Chilcott, says they are appealing because they feel the trial judge trivialized the level of force used by the police officer and the injuries sustained by Chilcott’s daughters.

The Crown prosecutor refused to comment. The defense said a final decision should be made within about a month.

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