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Montreal police should remove officer from the streets, CRAAR says

The Quebec Human and Youth Rights recently ruled that the city of Montreal and police officer should pay Mr. Rivélino Bélizaire $18,000 because of discriminatory treatment by the officer.
The Quebec Human and Youth Rights recently ruled that the city of Montreal and police officer should pay Mr. Rivélino Bélizaire $18,000 because of discriminatory treatment by the officer. Global News

The Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR) is asking Montreal police to remove one of its officers from the streets.

According to the organization, the officer has had nine misconduct charges in 17 years leveled against him by the police ethics committee. The sanctions were for actions against members of the public, including one for “improper conduct” against a security guard back in 2016.

READ MORE: Montreal-area men file human rights complaints over alleged profiling, discrimination at banks

In that case, the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission ruled recently that the City of Montreal and the officer should pay the victim, Rivélino Bélizaire, $18,000 in compensation.

“It recognized that Mr. Bélizaire has been a victim of racial profiling,” CRARR executive director Fo Niemi told reporters at a press conference.

According to Niemi, in February 2016 Bélizaire was stopped and fined for jaywalking. He said, during the intervention the officer, in a hostile tone, repeatedly asked Bélizaire his name.

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The next day, Bélizaire claimed the police officer went to his workplace and spoke to his supervisor about the incident. Niemi pointed out that, by those actions, the police ethics committee also found the officer had violated the force’s code of ethics.

READ MORE: Racial profiling class-action lawsuit against Montreal gets green light

But CRARR officials wonder why the police officer is still patrolling in light of seven violations they said happened before the incident with the security guard, and one since.

“They keep putting him back on the road, and he keeps getting cited, and he keeps getting found guilty,” said Alain Babineau, a former RCMP officer who advises CRARR. “Internally, they do have the flexibility to move these people around. “We’re not asking that he should have been fired, but we’re asking, why wasn’t he reassigned?”

He added and others at CRARR wonder about other possible incidents of misconduct that the police officer may have committed that victims haven’t bothered to report.

Montreal police say they do not comment on ethical cases and decisions.