Montreal man files complaint against police, again, after alleged 'driving while Black' incident
MONTREAL -- A Montreal man living in NDG is filing a complaint with the Montreal police ethics commission and the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal after he said he was racially profiled for "driving while Black."
Police stopped Kenrick McRae Wednesday in Cote-des-Neiges for what he says is the latest time of many. McRae says he's been stopped by cops about 30 times, sometimes twice a month.
McRae drives a black Mercedes with colourful markings, and despite the fact that he has filed four prior complaints against police -- and won one case -- he was stopped again this week when he was parking his car to buy a gift for his daughter.
"It ruined my day," he said. "I didn't get out of the car to go to the store to get a present for my daughter this weekend."
While reaching to get change for the parking metre, he said he saw a police cruiser with two white officers inside pull a U-turn and approach.
He said he was startled by banging on his window, and that the officers called another cruiser to the scene and demanded his papers.
He said the officers told him he matched a suspect's description: a Black man driving a Mercedes.
McRae said he had a mask and sunglasses on and wants to know whether they were really looking for a suspect who looked exactly like him or it was just a pretext to harass and profile him.
He added that he was frightened for his life when he saw the officers with their hands on their holsters.
"I was so shocked, trembling, because what I saw in the US, that would have been the last day of me," he said. "Any movement or reaction, I could have got shot because the guns were already on the holsters."
The Montreal police department would not comment on the intervention in question, but it said it welcomes aggrieved citizens to file a complaint.
"If a person feels aggrieved during a police intervention, it is his or her right to file a complaint against the police officer(s) with the SPVM or with an independent organization, such as the Police Ethics Commissioner or the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse (CDPDJ)," the SPVM media relations department said in an email.
McRae is considering ditching his car because profiling has become so routine. His car is equipped with six cameras because of past incidents, but he was not able to turn them on Wednesday because the officers caught him by surprise.
He won a previous case that was before the police ethics commission. The commission decided in his favour and against two white police officers who stopped and handcuffed him in 2017 for, the commission found, no reason.
Two SPVM officers were suspended without pay for 13 days for committing multiple violations against him in 2017, and both are appealing the decision against them.
McRae is working with the Center for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR) on his complaints that are in process.