Arrested four times more, young Arabs file few complaints

Arrested four times more often, young Arabs file few complaints

Young Arabs are more than 4 times more likely to be arrested by the police.

Due to lack of time and a lack of confidence in the justice system, most young Arabs do not file complaints against the police authorities when they have been victims of profiling. Like blacks, however, they are among the categories of people who are the most questioned and abusively questioned by the police.

Itzak (not fictitious), 24, pizza delivery man in Montreal, knows this Something. “Once, I was stopped by a policewoman who told me that I didn't have my belt, when I did. She gave me a ticketmore than $300 and three demerit points,” recalls the young man of North African origin, met by Métro in a café at the intersection of Jean-Talon and 19e Avenue.< /p>

For him, the complaints procedure requires time and energy, which he does not have. Worse still, he says he has doubts about the justice system.

I don't think I'm going to win and I don't have time for it . It's becoming a habit for me.

Itzak, pizza deliveryman

The thesis of lack of trust is also mentioned by Abdelhaq Sari, of Moroccan origin, who is a city councilor for the district of Marie-Clarac, in the borough of Montreal-North , and also vice-president of the Commission de la sécurité at the City of Montreal.

“What I hear around me is that filing a complaint does not will give nothing,” said Abdelhaq Sari, in an interview with Métro.

No complaints registered by CRARR

The Center for Action Research on Race Relations (CRARR), an advocacy organization the rights of victims of profiling, he also says he notes the reluctance of the Arab community to defend itself before bodies such as the Commission for Human Rights and Youth Rights (CDPDJ).

“Exactly yes,” CRARR general manager Fo Niémi replies straight away when asked if he has any data to that effect. And the numbers he has are pretty low.

“I will say that from our experiences, there are no complaints from young people in the Arab-Muslim community. In our data, we have no young Arab-Muslims under the age of 25 who have filed a complaint for questions of racial profiling,” he says bluntly.

However, young Arabs aged 15 to 24 are on average four times more likely than young whites of the same age to be arrested, according to the Armony-Hassaoui-Mulone Report on police arrests in Montreal , published in 2019.

Pro rata, black and Arab people are clearly over-challenged – i.e. 66% and 93% respectively – compared to non-racialized people. For incivilities – contraventions of municipal by-laws – these groups are also over-stopped by 137% and 180% respectively.

Fo Niémi notes, however, that in terms of employment discrimination, a few complaints are lodged with his organization. But as a general rule, it is the Arab-Muslim parents who accompany the young people in the protest process. council meeting, snubbed the young Hocine Ouendi, 15, of Arab origin. Despite the mayor's apologies, the youngster's parents accompanied him to the CRARR to file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission.

Culture of origin

Several factors could explain this tendency not to complain among the Arab-Muslim community, according to the CRARR, such as the recent presence of this community on the territory or the fact that in their country of origin, people did not tend to to sue the established authorities for wrongdoing or harm done to them.

My analysis is that the black community has a more imposing presence in number and is organized. It also has rights organizations with more experience in this area.

Frédéric Avance, sociologist

Councillor Abdelhaq Sari believes that there should be more information campaigns around these issues with Maghreb communities. “We must inform the population about their rights and how they can file a complaint”, he concludes.

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