Director of the SPVM: “I acknowledge that there is systemic racism in the organisation”

Directeur du SPVM: «Je reconnais qu’il y a du racisme systémique dans l’organisation»

MONTREAL | the chief of police of Montreal, Sylvain Caron, recognizes that there is systemic racism in his organisation, but believes that incidents of profiling are connected to a tiny proportion of police officers.

“I recognize that there is systemic racism in the organization of the SPVM,” said straightforward Mr. Caron at the “24 Hours” Wednesday.

“Our system in which it operates need to be reviewed, reframed, because it allows police officers to have a bias.”

“As a public body, it has work to do in this regard. It is necessary to work to avoid any disparity, any form of discrimination in our system”, said the director of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM).

A report from the Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM), published in June last, believed that the racial and social profiling existed within the police in montreal.

Traffic stops and profiling

Wednesday, on the occasion of the presentation of the first policy on police stops, Mr. Caron stated that it recognized “the problematic societal that represents the systemic racism” and the existence of “disparities in police stops caused by using systemic”.

“As you know I am a police officer career and for me discrimination has never had its place, it goes deeply against my values and against the values of the SPVM also,” said Mr. Caron.

In response to journalists ‘ questions, the chief of police has mentioned that racial membership is not a ground of arrest. “We do not intervene with people because they are racialized”, he said.

“The police are involved because there are facts, there is the context which leads them to want to identify people.”

“Clearly, there are incidents of profiling that have occurred in the past”, he nonetheless agreed. But, it is characteristic of a very small number of officers, according to Mr. Caron, because “99% of the people who are involved will no doubt make good way”.

More than 1 %

This assertion is problematic in the eyes of Lionel Perez, head of the municipal party Together Montreal.

“It is not the 1 % that is problematic. This is when black people and arabs are arrested four times more, aboriginal people are 11 times more: I apologize, it takes more than 1 % of all police officers to have those numbers.”

According to an independent report commissioned by the SPVM, unveiled last fall, black people, arabs, and aboriginal people were, respectively, a 4.2, a 4.6, and 2 times more likely to be arrested than white individuals. The proportions were 5 times higher and 4 times higher for young blacks and arabs. Indigenous women are 11 times more likely to be arrested than white women.

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