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Fady Dagher to become Montreal's next police chief

Longueuil chief of police Fady Dagher has been nominated to become Montreal police chief. Prior to going to Longueuil he served 25 years on the Montreal force. Dagher became well known for his implementation of community policing on the South Shore, gaining the attention of the provincial government as well as multiple police forces across Canada.

Dagher has been serving as Longueuil’s chief of police since February 2017. His policing project RÉSO was launched in 2019, with the goal of having a group of officers work within specific communities in order to create a bond between them and the population. Dagher also lead an initiative to bring in more non-white officers into the Longueuil force to have officers better represent the community and build a stronger sense of trust. The program received a $3.6 million three-year commitment from the Quebec government.

Dagher holds a master’s degree in business administration from HEC-McGill. He served as assistant director of the SPVM from 2013 to 2017. Dagher had previously been considered for the role of Montreal chief in 2015 but Philippe Pichet was chosen.

Sophie Roy has been serving as interim police chief since former chief Sylvain Caron retired in March 2022. Caron retired early after the wrongful arrest of Mamadi Camara in February.

The selection committee formed to pick the new chief included three senior civil servants as well as three elected municipal officials. The Montreal agglomeration council must now certify the nomination, followed by the city’s executive committee. Finally, the provincial government must confirm the appointment which is expected to be finalized in 2023. A ceremony to signify the transition of power from Caron to Dagher will be held thereafter.

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CDN racial profiling victim refuses to pay fine

A 68-year-old Côte-des-Neiges man is refusing to pay a fine in what he and the Quebec Human Rights Commission say is a case of racial profiling.

Lincoln Kerr was threatened with arrest and given a ticket of $483 for obstructing police officers in their application of Quebec’s Highway Safety Code three years ago in the parking lot of the KFC on Victoria.

In July 2019 Kerr was reportedly told by officers to back away from the building and return to his car, and was soon swarmed by police cruisers and eight police officers, prompting him to call 911 and demanding a supervisor on site for fear for his safety.

The Commission rejected the police contention that they stopped him due to the condition of his car, but rather simply because he was driving, and found no justifiable reason for such a heavy police presence and response. After ruling in his favour and ordering the city and two of the officers to pay damages of $28,000, the case has moved on to the Human Rights Tribunal. Kerr is also making his fifth trip to Municipal Court to challenge the infraction and highlight the continued scourge of the “driving while black” phenomenon in Quebec. His tribunal case will be heard in March.

Quebec to fight judgment ending random police stops

The Quebec government will be appealing the recent landmark Joseph-Christopher Luamba Quebec Superior Court decision halting random police stops, and new policies regarding racial profiling will be put in place, Quebec Public Security Minister Francois Bonnardel and the Minister Responsible for the Fight Against Racism, Christopher Skeete announced Friday.

The random stops are considered by many to be a form of racial profiling, but the government feels the random stops are useful to stop drunk driving.

In their announcement, Skeete said that police arrests “cannot be based on a discriminatory reason” and the two announced new measures “aimed at combating possible situations of racial and social profiling in the various police forces.”

Their announced measures include:

• “Introduce measures in the Police Act to extend the Minister’s power to establish guidelines on any matter relating to police activity and to make them public. These guidelines will focus on non-discrimination in policing, introduce a new regulatory power allowing the government to provide for continuous training obligations for police officers, in particular on issues such as discrimination and racial profiling, modernize and make more accessible the police ethics process.”

• “Encourage and fund police forces to develop and experiment with new best and innovative practices to combat racial and social profiling.”

Bonnardel and Skeete also said they will launch a consultation process involving groups concerned about racial profiling and police force representatives.

“This series of consultations will allow the government to obtain possible solutions to strengthen its strategy to combat racial profiling,” says their announcement.

Bonnardel said “I am confident that the actions already taken and those announced today will make a difference. The Public Security ministry continues to support police forces so that they have the tools and training necessary to carry out their constantly evolving duties. I have great confidence in the police officers, and I thank them for their work, but I hope that we will work together to ensure benevolent and optimal security for all Quebecers.”

Skeete said, “in 2022, it is not normal for a Quebecer to be the victim of racial profiling in our community. Racism in all its forms no longer has a place in Quebec. In the coming days, we will hold meetings with the various police forces and other players concerned in order to put in place concrete, concerted and transformative measures. Our objectives are to transform police practices and to rebuild together the relationship of trust with citizens from racialized communities.”