Video of violent arrest for talking 'too loud' prompts questioning of police procedure
Months after they complained of being violently arrested by Montreal police for talking "too loud" a biracial couple now has video of the incident as taken by an eyewitness.
On April 7 Brian Mann and Tayana Jacques were walking along St. Laurent Blvd. near Roy St. when they were stopped by police officers in a patrol car who informed them they were being "too loud" for walking down a busy street at 10 a.m.
Mann, executive director of Concordia University Television (CUTV) asked if there was a law against laughing and was told police determined what was an acceptable sound level.
Jacques, who is black, said she felt targetted because of her skin colour and turned to leave, at which point police officers got out of their car and grabbed her, placing her head on the hood of their car and handcuffing her before putting her in the back seat.
"They came out and pushed me onto the car, asked me for ID. They just kept on saying I had drugs on me. They went through me, they were going through my clothes and I asked them to get a female police officer but they refused to," said Jacques.
While this took place Mann was standing against the wall, when at least three more patrol cars then arrived and six officers jumped out and grabbed Mann.
"And a moment later they started jumping Brian, six of them, just attacked him on the floor. It was excessive. He was bleeding. His face was smashed into the floor," said Jacques.
The video shows the gang of officers bringing Mann to the ground and handcuffing him, while more officers walk around and prevent a crowd from getting too close.
On the video people can be heard asking why so many police officers are needed to make an arrest. One bystander says the couple were yelling at people and screaming "fuck you," while another witness said they were just walking and "talking loud."
Mann and Jacques were each driven around the corner and fined $444 for making excessive noise, and Jacques was also fined for not obeying police officers.
After going public with their complaints in April, Mann and Jacques learned they were each charged with criminal offences as well.
Police reports are contradictory about what occurred, with some saying the couple were intoxicated, while others say they were not.
Mann and Jacques said they were sober, although they had been at a party the previous night.