After being cuffed and arrested -- then immediately released -- Montreal man wants explanation
MONTREAL -- After being searched, handcuffed and accused of a $5,000 fraud—then released—a Montreal man says local police owe him an apology at least.
Wilston Renford Clarke, who is Black, described the experience on Monday night as dehumanizing and unjustified, with police taking 10 or 15 minutes to run his ID.
Just before 9 p.m., he says he was stopped out of the blue while on his way home from work.
He was searched, arrested, handcuffed and put in the back of a squad car. Police told him he was under arrest for an alleged fraud.
He said he was flummoxed, asking “What are you talking about?”
However, Clark said he quietly cooperated.
“They don't have no warrant. I know my rights,” he said. “You want me to just stand up and tell them ‘Don't do that.’”
But he didn’t, he said, “because I know what can happen to me because I'm a Black person."
After 10 or 15 minutes, when police put his ID through the system, they then released him with no explanation.
His wife, Pamela, came out of their house just as police were leaving.
“They could have have at least had the decency to apologize to him and say, ‘We were wrong, you’re not who we thought you were,’” she said.
“The way they did it—‘Stop. Don't move. You're under arrest.’ I think it was a bit aggressive.”
When asked for comment, Montreal police said they don’t yet have a record of the incident, possibly because the officers involved are now on their days off, but they said they’re looking into it.
A criminal lawyer who reviewed the details of Clarke’s experience says it’s cause for concern.
“I’m a little surprised by what transpired, and I think they owe it to this it this individual and the public to explain why they did they did,” said lawyer Eric Sutton.