LAVAL – When Mactar Mbaye walked into a Tim Hortons in Laval to interview a potential employee for his company, he didn’t expect his day to take a completely different direction.
Shortly into the interview, two police officers walked into the Tim Hortons and asked to talk to him.
They were soon followed by two more officers.
“I was so shocked, I asked if they were sure it was me they wanted to talk to,” Mbaye told Global News.
Laval police had received a 911 call from a person who had seen Mbaye interviewing a Caucasian woman, and got suspicious.
“We got a 911 call from a person saying a young Black male was trying to recruit a young Caucasian female for most probably prostitution,” said Constable Franco di Genova with Laval police.
“With all the events that happened with the youth centre here in Laval we didn’t take a chance “
Earlier this month, five girls ran away from a Laval youth centre, several of whom were targeted by street gangs.
Di Genova said he believes people in Laval are on edge.
Race relations expert Fo Niemi warns people need to be more conscious of what they’re seeing and hearing.
“That automatic equation of young black men and crime, I think that’s the most disturbing thing. In some situations, could have produced worse outcome,” Niemi said.
WATCH: Mactar Mbaye explains the situation on his personal Facebook page
Mbaye is an entrepreneur with deep ties to his community.
He is raising money to help youth in his home country of Senegal and he coaches high school basketball, using his connection with his students to encourage them to stay in school
He said he wants to use what happened to him in a positive way and hopes to sensitize people to the dangers of racial profiling.