A Notre-Dame-de-Grâce man is claiming two Montreal police officers racially profiled him in front of his home on Tuesday.
Kendrick MacRae says he was cleaning out his Mercedes Benz when he was allegedly approached by two police officers asking him who the car belonged to.
“I heard him saying, ‘Boy, who does the car belong to?’ So I turned around and said the car belongs to me,” said MacRae.
MacRae said the officers then noticed a recycling bag next to his car, which contained, among other items, two beer-shaped bottles — a ginger beer soda and a Jamaican beer.
The officers then asked for his identification and insinuated that he was under the influence, he said.
“I said, ‘If you suspect I’m under the influence, can you please do a field sobriety test right here and a breathalyzer test right now,'” said MacRae. “She said, ‘I don’t have time for that.'”
The NDG resident said two more police cars arrived at that moment.
“I said to myself, you know, ‘Today I don’t want to die.'”
The officers gave him a $486 ticket for “being the driver of a road vehicle, having consumed alcoholic beverages,” as indicated on the statement of offence.
MacRae says he did not have anything to drink, nor was he driving his car at the time.
Former police officer and Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR) advisor Alain Babineau suspects it was a setup.
“They needed his identification,” said Babineau. “How are they going to get his identification? Well, they have to find a pretext to get his identification.”
“Just because I’m black, which I’m proud to be, and drive a Mercedes Benz, that’s all I see,” said MacRae.
MacRae claims he’s been racially profiled by Montreal police before.
In September 2017, he was arrested for allegedly driving without a licence plate. However, he says he was driving with a licence plate.
He appeared before the Police Ethics Committee two months ago — a decision in that case has not yet been rendered.
“I’m not the first, I won’t be the last,” he said.
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Last winter, Montreal police announced a plan to combat racial profiling through training. Babineau insists the program’s progress isn’t properly monitored.
He also says more leadership is needed. within the organization.
“Don’t take these cases as individual cases but a systemic problem within the culture itself of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal, unbelievable,” he said.
The CRARR calls it an escalating issue.
“Within the last 12 months we’ve seen the rise in this kind of questionable police practices particularly towards black men,” said Fo Niemi, CRARR executive director.
Global News has reached out to Montreal police about the allegations, but has yet to hear back.