Six Montreal police officers face lawsuit after being accused of racial profiling

Click to play video: '6 Montreal police officers face lawsuit after being accused of racial profiling' 6 Montreal police officers face lawsuit after being accused of racial profiling
WATCH: A Black man and his mother are suing six Montreal police officers, alleging the son was racially profiled by police. As Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports, the family is looking for more than money – Feb 10, 2022

Clivens Félisma Georges and his mother are suing six SPVM officers after accusing police of racial profiling during an incident last April.

Georges and his mother Marcelie Georges are claiming $90,000 in damages after they allege police wrongly arrested Georges at gunpoint for possession of a weapon, when none was found.

“I still have nightmares of the moment. I feared for my life,” Georges said.

Read more: Montreal police accused of racial profiling after arresting 24-year-old man

The incident occurred one afternoon in April 2021 after Georges says police followed him to his mother’s house after he attended a wake for one of his friends who had recently died.

Shortly after he arrived at his mother’s house in the Côte-des-Neiges borough, a neighbour told the family that police were searching his vehicle parked outside.

Story continues below advertisement

“As soon as we stepped out I see a cop take out his gun and point it at me,” Georges said.

When walking out both Georges and his mother were met with guns pointed at them by four police officers, Georges said.

In cellphone video captured by neighbours and Georges himself, police can be heard telling him to lie on the ground.

Officers can also be heard saying they have reason to believe that there is a weapon in the vehicle, when Georges questioned the reason for the arrest.

“I had a bag on me and they told me the bag looked heavy, ‘So where is the gun?'” Georges said, describing the heated conversation with the officers.

“It’s the worst feeling; they make a big scene. They lock down the street, they make me look like a big criminal. All my neighbours were there,” Georges said.

Read more: Hair salon owner alleges racial profiling by Montreal police

Police searched both the vehicle and the mother’s house without a warrant, according to Georges’s lawyer, Kwadwo Yeboah.

No gun was found in either the car or the house.

Story continues below advertisement

“They just profiled him, it’s as simple as that. It happens so often to Black people,” Yeboah said. “I do not know a Black person who has not experienced it in one form or another.”

Georges says when police removed the handcuffs, one officer told him it was his lucky day.

Read more: Montreal police to unveil new policy on street checks amid calls for change

The family is claiming emotional damages after the incident, which they claim they still are suffering from.

“Still to this day, my mom is scared of the cops and me, if I see the cops, I get nervous because I don’t know what they are going to do,” Georges said.

Both Yeboah and Georges say this lawsuit is about more than the financial compensation — it’s also to seek justice in the name of Black people.

Yeboah says he hopes this case will shed light on what he called the persistent wrongs committed by police.

“Mr. Clivens is very courageous to step out and try and put an end to this,” Yeboah said.

Global News Montreal reached out to Montreal police but they would not comment on the case because it is before the courts.


Sponsored content