Montreal police filmed kneeling on the neck of a black teenager, triggering a call for investigation

A Quebec lawmaker called for an investigation into a video showing a Montreal police officer kneeling on the neck of a young black teenager with his face pressed against the sidewalk. This photo is reminiscent of George Flo. Ide’s last moments.

Frantz Benjamin, a member of the Liberal Party of Quebec’s National Assembly representing the Viau constituency of Montreal, said several voters called him about this video.They said it would cause “mass trauma”, reminding them that Freud had told the Minneapolis police more than 20 times that he could not breathe Before he died May 25, 2020.

The Montreal video was filmed on June 10 by a passerby in front of a bus stop in the Villeray district of the city.

According to a spokesperson for the Montreal City Police Department (SPVM), the police officer at station 31 is answering a phone call from Georges-Vanier High School about a fight involving a dozen young people from different schools.

The video, obtained by Canadian Radio, was about one and a half minutes long and did not show the incident that led to physical intervention.

First, two officers kneeled on a black young man for about 15 seconds. They seemed to twist his hands behind his back. One police officer’s left knee was placed on the boy’s neck and face, and the other police officer’s knee appeared to be on the boy’s lower back.

The young man did not seem to resist or move in any way. Can’t hear what he said.

Officials nail down the youth

About 15 seconds later, the two police officers got up. The officer who pressed his knees on the boy’s neck stood up briefly, adjusted the boy’s body posture, and then knelt on the back of the boy’s neck with his legs.

The officer stayed in this position for another 37 seconds.

While still suppressing the youth, the police officer searched a bag and handed an object to his colleague. The police officer then appeared to show the object to the camera, saying that the teenager was arrested for possessing a stun gun.

In addition to the content seen in the video, it is not clear how long the police officer stayed on the boy’s neck, because he restrained the boy at the beginning and end of the video.

In a later interview, the police told Radio Canada that two minors were accused of carrying weapons and are currently investigating the incident.

“If the use of force is unreasonable, the government will take the necessary actions,” SPVM spokesperson Const said. David Shane.

Shane urges caution when watching such videos, as the camera angle can be misleading. Shane said that every time an officer used force, he would fill out a report and review it.

Quebec MP Frantz Benjamin said he was shocked by the video of two Montreal policemen kneeling on the young man. (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

The mayor wants answers

MNA Benjamin said he wrote to Police Chief Sylvain Cullen and called for an investigation into police behavior.

“This is shocking,” he said. “It was even more shocking when we saw that there was no resistance.”

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante also asked SPVM to clarify what happened.

In a statement to Radio Canada, she said: “The circulating images are worrying. This investigation should shed light on the entire intervention.”

“The images of the intervention once again reiterated the importance of implementing body cameras, and we are working with our partners.”

Abdelhaq Sari, a city councillor from the northern district of Montreal and a security critic of Ensemble Montréal, the official opposition to the city hall, said the video raises “serious questions.”

“An independent investigation must be conducted to clarify this incident,” Sarri said.

“This arrest method should only be used when danger is imminent. Of course this is not the case when the suspect is handcuffed.”

Kneeling on your neck is not against the rules

SPVM does not prohibit kneeling on the suspect’s neck, said Stéphane Wall, a former sergeant and training instructor. He said the technology is used to force suspects to surrender, but it must be done quickly.

Wall said that once the suspect is handcuffed, the knees should move more toward the shoulders.

Frédéric Boisrond, a sociologist who has served as SPVM’s independent strategic consultant since last summer, told Radio Canada that he is concerned about the methods and methods of the agents.

“A young man was handcuffed to his neck and knelt on one knee-which reminds us of a rather disturbing picture. I didn’t expect to see this in Quebec in 2021,” Boironde said.

On August 24, 2020, Ensemble Montréal filed a motion to stop any police tactics that impede the suspect’s breathing.

The bill stated that these strategies can only be used as a last resort.The bill passed Montreal City Council, but it is not binding because SPVM, like any police station in Quebec, follows the rules set by the provincial government.

For more stories about the experience of black Canadians—from anti-black racism to success stories in the black community—check out Black Canadians, a CBC project that Canadian blacks can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

(Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

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