Montreal couple claims they were victims of racial profiling, excessive force by police
A couple is speaking out after they claim they were victims of racial profiling and excessive force by Montreal Police (SPVM).
“It was mostly disbelief that was going through my mind because I was almost unsure that it was real,” said Dana, who doesn’t want to use her real name for privacy reasons. “It just didn’t really feel like it was something that was fair or justified in any way.”
The couple claims on April 7, they went out for breakfast on St-Laurent Boulevard when they were stopped by two police officers who accused them of disturbing the peace with their loud conversation.
Dana said she decided to leave the situation and go home, claiming she feared the officers – and that’s when the couple says the incident turned violent.
“They both came out and they put her against the hood of the car and arrested her, put her in handcuffs, felt all over her body very aggressively and inappropriately, looking for any contraband I guess,” said her boyfriend Brian Mann.
Mann said after watching his girlfriend get arrested, three more officers arrived at the scene, physically attacked him and then arrested him as well.
“They rushed me, kicked me, punched me, hit me in the ribs, brought me to the ground and put handcuffs on very very tight,” said Mann.
The couple said after being detained for a short period of time, they were released and each given a $444 ticket for making too much noise in public.
Now, they want answers from the SPVM and from the city of Montreal.
“Basically, like them, we think that there should be an answer from the mayor, from elected officials, as to why this happened, why this continues to happen – particularly to black individuals, why this excessive force and what is being done about it,” said Center for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR) executive director Fo Niemi.
Global News reached out to Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante for comment on the incident, but a city spokesperson said it was up to the Montreal Police to respond to the case. No one from the SPVM was available for comment on Saturday.
In the meantime, CRARR says it will be helping the couple file a police ethics and civil rights complaint against the officers involved and the city.
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