Quebec’s human rights tribunal has found that provincial jail guards violated the rights of a Black inmate who was left for hours naked and wet in a cell without a mattress.
In a Nov. 3 decision, Judge Christian Brunelle ordered the provincial government and several guards at a Quebec City jail to pay Samuel Toussaint a total of $41,500 in damages and ordered the Public Security Department to create a plan to fight discriminatory profiling.
Toussaint, who was 21 at the time of the 2016 incident, was serving an intermittent sentence on weekends.
The tribunal says that he flicked a cigarette toward a guard who had told him to stop smoking in the parking lot, resulting in a series of escalating interventions by jail staff.
Brunnelle says guards found Toussaint unco-operative and cut his clothes off with a knife, moved him around the jail while he was naked, and didn’t follow decontamination procedures after they pepper-sprayed him.
The judge says the behaviour of the guards — at least one of whom uttered a racial slur toward Toussaint — suggests the inmate was racially profiled.
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