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Montreal man to file human rights complaint over traffic stop by Roussillon police

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A Montreal man says he intends to file a human rights complaint against police officers on the South Shore after a traffic stop earlier this month.

Iman Niknam was on his way to meet with a client on a typical Sunday morning on July 8 when he says he was racially profiled by two Roussillon police officers.

He said he was given three tickets worth more than $1,100.

"It's starting to get a little bit heavy to be worried to encounter cops in my neighbourhood," said Niknam at a news conference Wednesday.

He said it wasn't the first time he's been stopped by officers from this police force, but it was the first time he was ticketed.

It all started, he said, when two police officers driving past him made a u-turn nd pulled him over.

"It was just like an automatic thing that went in my brain. I put my flashers as if I knew they were going to stop me," he said.

But when Niknam asked the officers why he had been stopped, he says the situation started to escalate. He decided to record the encounter with his phone to protect himself.

"Instead of just giving me an answer — a real straight-up answer — she asked me what I was smoking," he said.

"The police officer threatened to give him a ticket for smoking "Indian" cigarettes, according to Niknam.

"She started giving me some random answers: it was an F plate, we wanted to see who was the driver, it's a normal routine."

However, he said there was nothing normal about it and it wasn't long until he says the situation escalated even more.

"They wanted me to come out the car so they could search the car for cigarettes. I told her, 'I'm not going to allow her to search my car.' But then they escalated it a bit more, they tried to open my window," he said.

In the end, he was fined for several things, including possession of contraband cigarettes and for not providing proof of insurance when requested, even though he says he had his insurance papers. He claimed it took him a while to find them.

Niknam filed a complaint with the police force and is going to file one with the police ethics commissioner and the Quebec Human Rights Commission with the help of the Red Coalition, an organization that advocates against racial profiling.

"Everyone has an expectation that police officers will act respectfully, professionally and within a confine of the law," said Alain Babineau, a retired RCMP officer and director of racial profiling with the Red Coalition. "And when they don't, we're going to keep denouncing it."

Roussillon police told CTV News it will make the necessary verifications on the case and that it would not comment on the matter.

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