Mamadi Camara was not the victim of racial profiling when he was wrongfully arrested and detained in connection with an attack on a Montreal police officer, a report has concluded.
The findings of the probe by Quebec Superior Court Justice Louis Dionne into the actions and circumstances leading up to the incident last winter were unveiled publicly Friday.
He concludes that Camara, a Black man, “was not subjected to differential treatment on the basis of his race, colour, or his ethnic origin.” The 142-page report also found that police officers and prosecutors acted reasonably in the case.
Camara was arrested Jan. 28 after police Const. Sanjay Vig was allegedly disarmed and attacked following a traffic stop in the city’s Parc-Extension borough.
The PhD student had spent almost a week in detention when prosecutors dropped all the charges against him after they said evidence had surfaced exonerating him. Montreal police Chief Sylvain Caron also declared Camara’s innocence in early February and issued a formal apology.
A different man was then arrested in connection with the case in late March. Ali Ngarukiye, 21, is next set to appear in court later this month.
Camara has since launched a $1.2-million lawsuit against the City of Montreal and Crown prosecutors, alleging racial profiling.
Dionne concluded in his report that the police officer who had initially stopped Camara for a driving violation and those who proceeded with his arrest acted according to the rules.
The report also found no fault in the actions of the Crown prosecutor who authorized charges, saying they had acted according to legal principles and standards based on the information given by investigators.
But the report does make 18 recommendations. Dionne said major crimes investigators should have set up a different investigation structure that could have led to a more detailed and quicker analysis of evidence that would have absolved Camara earlier.
Montreal police issued a statement Friday, saying the department will “analyze the recommendations and implement the necessary means to follow up on them, in particular by reviewing certain practices called into question in this report.”
In a statement, the City of Montreal said it has taken note of the recommendations for its police force and reiterated its support for Vig, Camara and their respective families.
Virginie Dufresne-Lemire, the lawyer representing Camara, told Global News they are reading the report and will not comment at the moment.
—With files from Global News’ Gloria Henriquez and The Canadian Press