By Gerald V. Paul
In the wake of a $65 million racial profiling suit filed last week against the Toronto Police, the Black Action Defense Committee (BADC), joined by the Justice is Not Colour Blind (JNCB) organization along with three civilian plaintiffs have filed a class -action $125 million suit for systemic racial profiling against African -Canadians and other minorities on Monday against the Peel Police Services and Peel Region’s former Chief of Police Mike Metcalf.
Last week’s class-action lawsuit named Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair and the Toronto Police Services Board as defendants.
BADC said it believed that individual actions are not very productive and have less impact than class action lawsuits, which is why it went this route.
“A Stop-and-Frisk class action lawsuit succeeded in New York in August 2013. Although its effect is on hold, it still nonetheless sets the standard about the possibilities of class action lawsuits to address systemic and embedded injustices based on race.
“The majority of African-Canadians in Canada live in the Toronto area and if racial profiling can be defeated in this great metropolis, a great contribution to the eradication of racial discrimination would have been achieved,” a statement from BADC, noted.
None of the allegations in either lawsuit have been proven in court. The class action must still be certified by a judge before it can go forward.
Dr. Munyonzwe Hamalengwa, lawyer representing the plaintiffs said Metcalf was named in the latest action because he was the head of York Police during the “relevant time” and in 2007, after the Ontario Human Rights Commission found a Peel officer guilty of racial profiling in a shoplifting case, Metcalf said he was he was “disappointed” with the finding and challenged the commission’s assertion that his department needed better training to avoid racial profiling.
By Gerald V. Paul