Police officer filmed with knee on Black Montrealer's neck during arrest

The arrest took place in Villeray and the youths involved appear to be teenagers.

The video was brought to light by Viau MNA Frantz Benjamin

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.

  1. The report found that the number of hate incidents reported to Montreal police and based on race, ethnic origin or colour stood at 60 compared with 29 in 2019 — an increase of nearly 107 per cent.

    Racially motivated hate crimes in Montreal surged 53% in 2020: report

  2. Protesters confront police during a demonstration in Montreal on June 7 in the aftermath of George Floyd's killing by officers in Minneapolis.

    Opinion: Body cameras are only part of the solution

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