Kenrick McRae doesn’t trust Montreal police anymore.
“Yeah, I feel afraid because it’s like I said, it’s like four encounters from March to August,” he says, and he’s fed up.
The last time he was pulled over by police was the morning of Aug. 25. He says he was driving a friend to work in a white Mercedes when police told him his “tailgate mirror is dark and he cannot see my transit, and I don’t have a licence plate.” McRae’s friend recorded the interaction on her phone.
He said he got out of the car to see for himself and saw there was a licence plate in place.
Three days before that, he was also pulled over.
McRae sees all of it as harassment. He thinks he knows why he keeps getting pulled over, but never gets a ticket.
“Driving while black is a problem because as soon as they see me, they stop me, they pull me over,” he says. “And they always come up with some kind of bogus excuses. “I know white guys that dress like me, drive those kind of cars, and they’re not harassed.”
Fo Niemi of the Centre for Research Action On Race Relations has seen an increase in the number of complaints concerning racial profiling by police. He says that “there was a point when the numbers went down, but in the last year or half, we’ve seen the number of complaints rising again.”
He thinks it may have to do with police leadership. The last chief, he said, was committed to tackling racial bias in policing but he’s not sure what priority the current head places on the issue.
Montreal police say they’re looking into the incident.
Meanwhile, McRae is filing a complaint with the Police Ethics Commission and considering filing a civil rights complaint with the Human Rights Commission.
He says he doesn’t know what else to do, and he’s frustrated. “I mean, the police is supposed to be here to protect and serve, but all I get is harassment, intimidation all the time,” he said.