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Quebec police department suspends 5 officers following violent arrest of Black teens

Click to play video: 'Calls for independent inquiry following violent arrest by Quebec City police' Calls for independent inquiry following violent arrest by Quebec City police
WATCH: There is political fallout from an alleged case of racial profiling by Quebec City police. Officers were suspended after being filmed violently arresting black teenagers over the weekend. The public security minister has asked the police ethics commissioner to look into the incident. But as Global's Raquel Fletcher reports, opposition parties are calling for a full independent inquiry. Warning: the images contained in the report are disturbing. – Nov 30, 2021

Quebec City police (SPVQ) confirmed in a press release on Tuesday that in light of an ongoing investigation into the violent arrests of Black teenagers on Saturday, five police officers have been suspended.

The SPVQ also said it is has launched a second internal investigation into the intervention of its officers at a local restaurant in the Sainte-Foy district on Friday evening.

The department told Global News that three of the five suspended officers were involved in both incidents.

They will be suspended with pay as per their collective agreement.

Click to play video: 'Crime & Justice' Crime & Justice
Crime & Justice – Nov 30, 2021

Earlier in the day Tuesday, Quebec Premier François Legault said no to opposition party demands for an independent investigation by the province’s police watchdog (BEI) into the arrests.

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Read more: Quebec police say they are investigating footage of violent arrest of Black teens

He said he has faith in the internal investigation being conducted by the Quebec City police service, as well as the one being conducted by the Police Ethics Commissioner.

“If it’s necessary, I’m ready to go further,” he said in French. “But what I want to say to the people of Quebec is that we’ll get to the bottom of things.”

The intervention was captured on a cellphone video and the images widely circulated prompting concern and outrage. The white officers involved in the incident are being accused of racial profiling.

On Monday, a lawyer for Pacifique Niyokwizera, one of the teens arrested, said the family is considering legal action.

“Nothing can justify this kind of arrest. That is not how you treat human beings in Quebec, in Canada,” said Fernando Belton.

Click to play video: 'Quebec teen considering lawsuit after violent arrest' Quebec teen considering lawsuit after violent arrest
Quebec teen considering lawsuit after violent arrest – Nov 29, 2021

The Legault government did request the involvement of the police ethics commissioner, but for the opposition parties at the National Assembly, that’s not enough.

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Parti Québécois Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon argued that were the BEI to conduct its own investigation, it would prove to be more transparent and independent.

— with files from Global News’ Raquel Fletcher and The Canadian Press

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