Political leaders reacted swiftly Friday to images of a young Black Montrealer being restrained by a police officer who put his knee on the man’s neck.
The video was brought to light by Viau MNA Frantz Benjamin and the arrest occurred June 10 in front of a bus stop in the Villeray district.
The images brought about reminders of the high-profile arrest of George Floyd, who died last year after police officer Derek Chauvin had his knee on his neck for nine and a half minutes in Minneapolis. Chauvin was convicted of murder in April.
Benjamin told Radio-Canada the youths involved in the arrest appear to be teenagers, around 14 or 15, and he sent a letter to Montreal police chief Sylvain Caron highlighting his concern.
Speaking at a news conference Friday, mayoral candidate Denis Coderre said the images were “troubling” and called for an independent investigation.
“Before we can say what happened in a short video, we need an inquiry. We need a process and we need facts,” Coderre said.
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante told Radio-Canada she found the images troubling and she wants more information about the arrest. She added this incident is one of the reasons her administration is working to have body cameras on police officers.
However, Coderre said if Plante wanted body cameras, they would be there.
“We don’t have to wait for Quebec to act,” he said. “We had a pilot project here, and it’s already in place in many major cities.”
This story will be updated.
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