The Quebec government has announced it will hold an inquiry into the wrongful arrest of Mamadi III Fara Camara, in the face of mounting questions about the conduct of Montreal police.
Camara, a 31-year-old PhD student, spent six nights in detention after he was arrested Jan. 28 before being completely exonerated last week.
He had been charged after a police officer was disarmed and attacked following a traffic stop in Montreal’s Parc-Extension neighbourhood. The Crown stayed the charges last Wednesday, moments before a scheduled bail hearing. On Friday it confirmed it would no longer pursue the case against him.
Camara had claimed innocence from the moment of his arrest, his lawyers said. He has since received an apology from Sylvain Caron, Montreal’s police chief.
While police insisted Camara’s arrest was based strictly on the evidence, not profiling, civil rights activists say the incident is part of a larger pattern of racial profiling.
In a news release, Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault announced the inquiry will be led by Quebec Superior Court Justice Louis Dionne.
Guilbault said the goal of the inquiry will be to understand what transpired in the lead up to Camara’s arrest, and come up with recommendations to prevent a similar situation from happening again.
The inquiry will begin Feb. 22 and last up to five months.