Lobby group seeks public inquiry in Montreal man's jail death
An anti-racism lobby group is calling on the Quebec government to launch an independent public inquiry into the jail death of an illegally detained Black man in Montreal following an altercation with jail guards just before Christmas.
An anti-racism lobby group made a call Saturday for the Quebec government to launch an independent, coroner-led public inquiry into the jail death of an illegally detained Black man in Montreal following an altercation with correctional staff just before Christmas.
Nicous D'Andre Spring, 21, was unlawfully held at Montreal's Bordeaux jail on Dec. 24 when guards fitted his head with a spit hood and pepper-sprayed him twice. He died later in hospital.
A judge had ordered Spring released from the detention centre the day before, but he and two other inmates were still in custody when the altercation occurred.
The Red Coalition, a non-profit lobbying organization assisting Spring's relatives, told reporters Saturday they are advocating for an independent coroner's inquiry and the release of any relevant detention centre video footage to the family if it exists.
The group is also seeking an independent autopsy and the creation of a citizen oversight board for the province's correctional facilities.
"The idea here is a question of trust," said Alain Babineau, a former RCMP officer and director of racial profiling with the Red Coalition. "When the community has lost faith in government institutions, including those that work for the government institutions, they don't believe anything that comes out of government."
Babineau said having an independent probe and autopsy will "give some reprieve and solace to the family, that finally we're getting the right answer to our questions."
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