Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante is expected to testify today in a class-action lawsuit that claims the city hasn't acted to combat systemic racial profiling by its police officers.

The lawsuit is led by the Black Coalition of Quebec and Alexandre Lamontagne, a Black man who alleges he was brutally arrested and detained by Montreal police outside a bar in 2017 without any valid reason.

Court documents say he was originally charged with assault and obstructing the work of police officers, but those charges were dropped the following year.

The group leading the $171-million lawsuit is asking for $5,000 in compensation for each racialized person who was arrested or detained by Montreal police without reason between August 2017 and January 2019.

Montreal police Chief Fady Dagher testified last week during the second day of hearings at the Montreal courthouse.

Dagher acknowledged to Quebec Superior Court Justice Dominique Poulin that racial profiling is a problem within the police force and in society as a whole, adding that the force has been working for years to address it.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 15, 2023.

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