Critics call for Quebec to reform policing of young people after Montreal arrest video goes viral

“We have been sufficiently traumatized by that form of factor.”

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“After every part we noticed in the USA, after the George Floyd incident, what was occurring in your thoughts to make you suppose you may nonetheless do that?”

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Practically a month after a Montreal police intervention outdoors a highschool within the metropolis’s Villeray district that noticed a black 14-year-old boy restrained on the bottom underneath the knee of a police officer, Maison d’Haïti director Marjorie Villefranche remained astounded on Thursday by the extreme power used to manage two youngsters.

Police intervened on the college in response to a name reporting a dispute between about 15 younger folks. Two Black male youngsters had been arrested once they tried to flee the scene.

“They’re kids,” Villefranche stated repeatedly throughout a information convention Thursday, including that she is aware of the pair properly and described them as being “fairly weak and fairly small.”

Villefranche stated she wouldn’t settle for that police methods used to subdue adults be used on kids, significantly when the kids had carried out nothing extra sinister than get collectively to rejoice a pal’s birthday.

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“This method of placing folks on the bottom and immobilizing them and humiliating them by placing their face on the bottom, I ask that or not it’s ended and that or not it’s ended for the Black neighborhood,” she stated. “As a result of we’ve been sufficiently traumatized by that form of factor.

“I can’t perceive how police thought they may nonetheless do this.”

Québec solidaire MNA Andres Fontecilla, left, and Marjorie Villefranche, director of La Maison d’Haiti, comment after a Montreal police officer was recorded on video kneeling on the neck of a Black 14-year-old and pressing his face into the sidewalk in Montreal on Thursday, July 8, 2021.
Québec solidaire MNA Andres Fontecilla, left, and Marjorie Villefranche, director of La Maison d’Haiti, remark after a Montreal police officer was recorded on video kneeling on the neck of a Black 14-year-old and urgent his face into the sidewalk in Montreal on Thursday, July 8, 2021. Picture by Paul Chiasson /The Canadian Press

Villefranche was accompanied by Québec solidaire MNA Andrés Fontecilla, who deemed the incident a transparent case of racial profiling.

“This intervention would by no means have occurred in a highschool in Westmount or Outremont,” he stated. “Past the unacceptable scenario of seeing a police officer put his knee on a 14-year-old’s neck, what this incident reveals is a scenario of racial profiling of Black youth within the north of Montreal.”

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The MNA known as upon provincial public safety minister Geneviève Guilbault and Quebec anti-racism minister Benoit Charrette to determine “an actual public safety coverage for the youth of Quebec — particularly for racialized youth — a coverage not based mostly on repression however a coverage based mostly on social intervention.”

Each Fontecilla and Villefranche known as for extra social employees and mediators to be made obtainable to deal with incidents of that nature, and Fontecilla famous that even Quebec Premier François Legault had expressed his disapproval of the intervention.

Villefranche stated the households of the 2 teenagers had been nonetheless in shock and the teenagers themselves traumatized by the expertise.

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