On January 28 in the early evening, the life of Mamadi Camara was completely turned upside down. Police officer Sanjay Vig, who had just checked him for a cell phone story while driving, is violently assaulted. Mamadi Camara will then be arrested during a muscular intervention and will undergo a long interrogation. Accused of the crime, he spent six days in prison, while he had nothing to be ashamed of. The charges will ultimately be dropped.
The affair made the political class in Quebec and in Canada react with the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, who got involved. Mamadi Camara, 31, from Guinea, a foreign student at Polytechnique and in charge of the laboratory, said that his arrest was an “extremely difficult” and “very traumatic” moment during his time on the show. Everybody talks about it, in February.
“For six days, I had no opportunity to speak to my family. Never, ”he said. Once transferred to Rivière-des-Prairies prison, he said he felt that the guards considered him “a killer of a police officer. […], a monster “. He said he was still in shock at having shared his cell with criminals.
« [La libération] was a great relief, but, at the same time, I was expecting it. Since the day of my arrest, I have not ceased to proclaim my innocence. If they’d listened to me, if we’d listened to my story, maybe it wouldn’t have taken six days [avant qu’on me libère]. »
It is ultimately Ali Ngarukiye who will be arrested and charged with attempted murder. He will also be charged with the murder of his cellmate.
Mamadi Camara claims to be a victim of racial profiling and is suing, along with people around him, the Montreal Police Department (SPVM) and the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP) for the sum of 1.2 million. More than a dozen other allegations are mentioned in the lawsuit, including unlawful interception and arrest as well as use of excessive force. Quebec had asked Judge Louis Dionne to investigate and, in his report published in September, he nevertheless concluded that Mamadi Camara was not the subject of racial profiling.
When contacted by The duty in December, the latter referred us to his lawyer. The latter did not respond to our requests.
The director of the SPVM, Sylvain Caron, officially apologized to him. But the event revived the debate on police violence and the arrest of black people. “The case of Mamadi Camara, as well as that of the lawyer victim of racial profiling recently, is added this year to a long list of victims of systemic racism”, declared the Black League of Quebec.
Later that year, the brutal arrest of 18-year-old black Niyokwizera in Quebec City also sparked an uproar. “To have been the victim of police bestiality of the #SPVM last winter, I actually understand the shock [sic], the pain endured by this young black man and his family from # Quebec. This brutality has no place in a city that advocates diversity, ”Mamadi Camara wrote on Twitter, adding that there are many black students at Laval University. Five police officers from the Quebec City Police Department (SPVQ) were suspended.