Monday, September 10, 2007

Kabataang Montreal - Ugnayan ng Kabataang Pilipino sa Canada/Filipino-Canadian Youth Alliance

For immediate release

Police brutality continues in Cote-des-Neiges; a 17 year old Filipino teenage girl experiences police brutality by Montreal police officers

September 9, 2007

Montreal, Quebec –On August 24th, the latest complaint against Montreal police harassment in the Cote-des-Neiges area is against two police officers for manhandling a 17-year old Filipino teenage girl named Tina (not her real name).

According to Tina, the officers approached her and a friend and unfairly accused them of drinking alcohol. Despite their insistence and assertion that they did not consume alcohol, the police officers accused Tina of having an "attitude" and roughly grabbed her as she stood up to leave and handcuffed her. Meanwhile, they hurt her arm, forcibly pushed her face-down to the ground, and slammed a car door on her leg while she was shoved into a police vehicle.

“I asked the officers what I did wrong that caused such brutality from them. They didn’t respond to me, they just talked about me and laughed.” says Tina when she recalls that evening on August 24th. Immediately after the incident, Tina and her mother went to Cote-st-Luc Police Station 9 to file a complaint. “We were told by Station 9 that we could try but we would need a lot of money to get a good lawyer to win,” relates Tina’s mother.

Across Canada, the Filipino Canadian Youth Alliance has documented several cases of racial profiling and police brutality. Tina’s case is one of many cases in the Cote-des-Neiges area that have been reported to the Kabataang Montreal - Ugnayan ng Kabataang Pilipino sa Canada/Filipino-Canadian Youth Alliance (KM-UKPC/FCYA). Kabataang Montreal is a local Filipino youth organization that has been working on issues of racial profiling against Filipino youth since 2000, and part of a national alliance of Filipino youth organizations in Vancouver and Toronto who campaign against criminalization of Filipino youth, in particular newly-arrived Filipino youth who are the immigrant children of domestic workers.

KM-UKPC/FCYA and Tina’s family are demanding a public apology from the Montreal Police Department for the incident of August 24, 2007. KM-UKPC/FCYA has a long standing anti-racism campaign including an end to racial profiling and police brutality.

“One of the major factors leading to this is the oppressive immigration policies of the Canadian government, particularly the Filipino community’s experiences with the federal Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP)–a racist policy which relegates migrant workers (a majority of whom are Filipino professionals) to slave-like working conditions. Filipino youth encounter barriers within the education system such as classes d’accueil, live in the most ghettoized areas in Canada, and suffer racism on a daily basis including racial profiling. This undermines our genuine development and equality as a community in Canada.” states Neil Castro, member of Kabataang Montreal.


A press conference will be held at the Philippine Women's Centre of Quebec,
4180 du
Courtrai, room #308, on Tuesday, September 11, 2007 at 10am.

Media Contact: Rodney Patricio (514) 991-7973 cell or (514) 678-3901 office