Human Rights Commission wants $33,000 for racially profiled man

CRARR's Fo Niemi (left) and Farid Charles. Photo by Patrick Lejtenyi

The Quebec Human Rights Commission said a man who was racially profiled and beaten by Montreal police four years ago is entitled to $33,000 in compensation.

On April 9, 2010, Farid Charles was sitting in a car waiting for a friend when he says an officer confronted him, asked him for his ID and then dragged him out of the car and punched him in the face.

Charles brought his case to the Commission with the help of the Centre for Research Action on Race Relations (CRARR). 

Charles and CRARR's executive director Fo Niemi say the Commission decision is welcome, but the wait is not yet over for 30 year old Farid Charles.

The father of three still has to take his case before the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal. That may take up to a year.

But the former teacher said exposing yet another case of racial profiling is worth the wait and the effort..

"There are probably hundreds of other cases, so this is just a needle in a haystack," said Charles. "But hopefully it will give other people the courage to come forward."

He added that the years he's waited for justice are nothing compared to historical injustices suffered in the past.

"My ancestors didn't go through 300 years of slavery for me not to use my rights," he said. "My kids can't go through this in the future, the kids that I teach and coach basketball can't go through the same thing again."

Lat year the the two officers involved were both suspended without pay for 10 days.

Charles adds that he wants to hear from Mayor Denis Coderre about possible solutions to the ongoing problem of racial profiling.

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