The family of Nicous D'André Spring, the 24-year-old young man who died following an intervention by correctional officers at Bordeaux prison on December 24, is calling for a public inquiry into systemic racism in the prison environment.
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The Red Coalition, a group against racial profiling, will help the family file a complaint with the Québec Ombudsman regarding this incident.
It also asks that the ombudsman of Quebec correctional services and the Ministry of Public Security launch public inquiries into systemic discrimination in Quebec detention centers.
“Each year, the ombudsman of correctional services produces a report, but he has several departments to deal with so the report at the level of correctional services is not really fleshed out, affirms the director of racial profiling and public safety for the Red Coalition, Alain Babineau, in an interview with TVA Nouvelles. We are asking that he conduct a special investigation into systemic racism in detention centers.”
The group is also calling for more transparency from the Ministry of Public Security and the Coroner's Office so that an investigation of the same kind as that of Joyce Echaquan can be launched.
"It could allow other detainees and members of the community to come and testify about their experiences at the level of correctional detention centers in Quebec," he says.
The Red Coalition believes that the issue of racism must be part of the debates surrounding this incident.
“The report of the Correctional Investigator of Canada which came out in November relates the discrimination and racism without restraint in the federal penitentiaries which are in Quebec, indicates the director of racial profiling and public security. So why would the same situation not occur in Quebec detention centers?”
The family was supposed to be present at a press conference organized by the Red Coalition, but they withdrew.
“The family is devastated,” explains Mr. Babineau. This is something that happened less than two weeks ago and every day there are challenges.
Nicous D'André Spring was illegally detained on December 24.
The day before, a judge had asked that he be released from prison. During the intervention of the correctional officers, cayenne pepper and an anti-spitting mask had been used.
The young rapper known in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce died the next day in hospital, on Christmas Day.
With information from Kevin Crane-Desmarais