The police stops should be based on “observable facts”

Les interpellations policières devront être basées sur des «faits observables»

Photo: Guillaume Levasseur Duty
The director of the SPVM, Sylvain Caron, committed to develop clear rules to govern police stops.

Starting in the fall, the police montrealers will have to base their arrests on “observable facts” and not based on impressions that may lead to racial discrimination. They shall, in particular, inform the persons to whom they ask to identify the reasons summary of the inquiry and fill in a form in which they will inscribe the reasons for the intervention. This is stipulated in the new Policy on police stops of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) announced Wednesday.

Last fall, a report from independent researchers had concluded that the existence of “bias systemic” among police officers. It found that Natives and Blacks were between four and five times more likely to be arrested by police than Whites in Montreal.

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The director of the SPVM, Sylvain Caron, committed to develop clear rules to govern police stops. First promised in the spring, the policy was finally made public on Wednesday.

Following consultations with police officers, organizations, experts and elected officials, the SPVM has introduced new rules.

Previously, police were not required to inform the persons to whom they ask to identify the reasons for the arrest, although this practice was recommended. Now, they will have the obligation to do so.

The SPVM will also add items to the card of arrest they have to fill. In addition to the personal information — if they have been provided — and ethnocultural identity “perceived or observed” of the person apprehended, they should indicate the reason for the arrest, the “observable facts” that led to it, and its context, which was not required under the current rules.

This policy should enter into force in the autumn.

Other details will follow.
 

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