Annik MH of Carufel Le Devoir The lawsuits brought concerned demonstrations that took place between 2011 and 2015 and which aimed in particular to denounce the P-6 by-law of the City.
The Superior Court has found “just” and “equitable” the $6 million agreement proposed by the City of Montreal to settle 16 class actions involving thousands of alleged victims of police brutality in the metropolis, who were claiming for their share of 53.5 million as compensation.
“The request is granted. The agreement is fair, equitable and in the interest of the members. The proposed service of the various class attorneys to act as claims administrators is reasonable and the attorneys' fees are warranted in the circumstances and commensurate with the services rendered,” Superior Court Judge Martin Sheehan ruled in a decision rendered. February 22.
The magistrate thus has the proposed agreement submitted by the City of Montreal to avoid “long and costly trials”, which thus contributes “to the economy of judicial resources”, details the judgment.
These demonstrations gave rise to police maneuvers of encirclement, detentions or statements of offences.
The lawsuits filed related to demonstrations that took place between 2011 and 2015 and which aimed in particular to denounce the City's by-law P-6, which has since been modified in 2016, then repealed completely in 2019. The demonstrators opposed in particular, to the time, the ban on wearing a mask during a demonstration and the obligation to provide an itinerary to the police before a spontaneous demonstration.
“These demonstrations gave rise to police maneuvers of encirclement, detentions or statements of offences”, recalls Judge Sheehan.
Over the years, the lawsuits have accumulated to reach a total compensation sought of $53.5 million which was intended for more than 3,000 people claiming to have been victims of a violation of their rights and freedoms by agents. of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal, or of an illegal arrest. Individual claims thus averaged approximately $17,000.
The City has since entered into several negotiations with the various people responsible for these class actions, with the aim of avoiding the holding of various trials which would undoubtedly have stretched out over several years. She finally proposed a sum of 6 million dollars, part of which will be used to cover the costs of the lawyers of the prosecutors. The demonstrators concerned should therefore expect to receive a much lower amount than initially hoped for in compensation from the City.
Furthermore, as part of this agreement, the City of Montreal undertakes to publish for 90 days, on its website, a text of apology in which it acknowledges that “certain actions taken by the police forces and the municipal administration with regard to the participants in the demonstrations covered by the present class actions have infringed some of their fundamental rights, thereby causing them harm”. “It is for this reason that the City of Montreal publicly apologizes to all of these individuals,” the message concludes.