A Montreal man who says he was pepper sprayed during Grand Prix weekend, and his girlfriend, who was also detained by police that night, are pursuing a complaint against the police officers involved.
The incident involving Daniel Louis and his girlfriend Gertrude Dubois was captured in a video that went viral.
“There was no need to go to that extreme and the impact that it had on Mr. Louis and Ms. Dubois is extraordinary,” said Alain Babineau, a former RCMP officer and advisor with the Center for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR).
In June, Louis, 42, was pepper sprayed in the face while sitting in his car, during Grand Prix weekend.
The video shows that after he was eventually removed from the vehicle, he asks if he’s being arrested because he was honking. He then accuses the officers of being racist.
On Wednesday, months after the incident occurred, Louis says he now has a different view of the police.
“We have some fear for police, that’s for sure,” he said. “Anytime I see one in the street, I get nervous.”
Louis found himself charged with obstruction and resisting arrest — the two tickets total $888.
Recently, he was informed that if he paid the tickets, the Crown would drop the charges.
But that hasn’t stopped him and his girlfriend, who was with him that night, from pursuing the complaint against the officers involved.
Louis and Dubois say they’ve filed a police ethics complaint. They’ve also mandated the CRARR to file a racial profiling complaint with Quebec’s Human Rights Commission.
The incident has already led Montreal police to conduct an internal investigation to examine what happened.
Now, the couple says they’ve learnt the case has been passed onto Quebec’s provincial police, who are reportedly investigating the officers’ conduct.
“We want justice,” Dubois said. “We want that when incidences like this occur, that the police, mayors — people in high places — can take into consideration and analyze if these officers followed the police code of ethics.”