A Montreal man who was once the target of an $873 million US lawsuit from Facebook feels he’s under fire again, this time by police.
Adam Guerbuez says police pull him over regularly for no reason, and he’s sick and tired to contesting countless fines. But, he’s the first to admit he fits the physical description of a gangster.
“Maybe the fact that I’m tattooed, shaved head,” says the 37-year-old. “It might be something as small as I’m driving a large vehicle, but I’m a large man, I can’t fit in a Civic or something small, so I drive SUVs.”
Still, Guerbuez feels nothing justifies what police have put him through by pulling him over constantly.
“The reason is usually, ‘well we’re pulling you over for random verification Sir’ and you know, when I question them, ‘did I do anything wrong,’ they always say ‘no, just for verification.'”
Guerbuez is convinced he’s a victim of police profiling, and he’s collection proof to show it. Ever since he installed a dashcam in his car, he makes a habit of filming his regular run-ins with the law and then posts them online.
Ever since he started filming his encounters, Guerbuez says police have stopped giving him tickets. And he’s learning that he’s not alone.
“The reaction from the public speaks for itself,” says Guerbuez, pointing to one video that has more than a million hits on youtube.
“It happens to people based on race, gender, you know people are profiled daily, it’s just my profiling situation may be a little unique, but I’m not alone that’s for sure.”
But one may wonder if Guerbuez is bringing this on himself and baiting police.
He travels in a black Cadillac Escalade equipped with tinted windows and a sophisticated dashcam, which he happens to sell through his website. But Guerbuez denies doing anything wrong to attract attention.
“The video evidence is proof enough I’m not bating anybody and your cameraman has seen it for himself.”
Last Friday night, Global Montreal cameraman David Sedell joined Guerbuez for a ride and after circling the city streets for a few hours, they got pulled over.
“When we were intercepted,” said Sedell “there was no reason for it.”
Even the officer admitted it was just a routine check.
After viewing the video, Laurent Gingras from the SPVM told Global News he saw nothing wrong with the officers’ actions towards Adam Guerbuez. But, one expert is calling it a clear case of police profiling.
“Just because someone looks suspicious, they don’t like the type of car they’re driving, the windows are tinted, the person looks like a biker, that is not a valid reason to intercept anyone,” said defense attorney Eric Sutton.
Officers can pull people over for random checks but they can’t target someone based on appearance.
“If it’s happening repeatedly, obviously he’s simply a victim of profiling and that’s abusing,” insists Sutton.
But for now Guerbuez is just gathering evidence and commiserating online with other victims of police profiling.
“The main thing is I want it to stop I need it to stop, it’s enough. The anxiety levels have risen to the point where I go out expecting it to happen, I know it’s going to happen.”