Driving while black: Montreal police stop man to see if he was in a stolen car
Kerwin Clarke was pulled over in Verdun last weekend by Montreal police officers — and he says, for no clear reason.
The Saint-Lambert resident was in the car with his daughter, Quinn, in the back seat when they were stopped.
“I was thinking, maybe I did something wrong. Did I stop at the last stop sign properly, completely? What did I do wrong? Did I check my phone?” he asked.
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Officers said they were checking to see if his 2017 GMC Yukon was stolen.
“I feel it was just squarely because I fit a profile they were looking for, being a younger-looking black male driving a nicer car,” Clarke, a criminal defence lawyer, told Global News.
“So, I felt really hurt.”
The south shore man says, though the officers were polite, the father of three believes he was the victim of racial profiling.
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“I would like to think that someone would do a little more police work to vet a situation and not engage in what I feel is lazy police work,” he said.
Clarke hasn’t filed a complaint, but says he plans to do so.
Minority rights activists insist more training needs to be done to improve the force’s relations with visible minorities — including hiring officers of a diverse background.
“Police officers have to reflect and look like the community they serve and reach out to,” said Center for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR) Executive Director Fo Niemi.
Montreal police did not return Global News’ request for an interview.
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