New racial profiling complaint against Montreal Police

How many times would it take you being stopped by police - for no reason - before you would say ‘enough is enough’ and then file a complaint?

Last Friday (Aug. 25), police stopped Kenrick McRae’s Mercedez in LaSalle as he drove his girlfriend to work. The officer said he made the stop because the license plate wasn’t clearly visible. When McRae and the officer went to the back of his vehicle to have a look, he pointed right at his clearly-visible license plate.

His girlfriend recorded a video of the interaction. Near the end of her recording you can hear the officer say “sorry,” before letting McRae get back into his Mercedes and drive away. That stop is already being reviewed by Montreal Police.

“I’m fed up,” said McRae “I want to know why the commissioner is allowing his ranks to racially profile black men who are ‘Driving While Black.’”

This isn’t an isolated incident either. McRae’s story starts in March of this year when he videoed himself being stopped by another Montreal police officer, also for no apparent reason.

“At the time I said, ‘you know, this is harassment, I’m going to file a complaint” and that’s when they arrested me, took my camera; deleted all my personal information including most of the stops that I had recorded.”  

McRae said he was restrained and placed in handcuffs for about an hour as police searched through his phone.

“They deleted everything,” said McRae, “A Supervisor came on the scene and he didn’t even want to speak to me.”

In May, McRae photographed two police officers looking inside his vehicle through the passenger side window. He had parked moments earlier to go and get a haircut.

McRae said he knows “white guys” who dress like him and who drive the same kinds of vehicles that he does and “they’re not harassed like...I am harassed.”

Just a few days before the Friday August 25th stop, McRae was pulled over for a third, similar and seemingly unnecessary traffic stop. He was released without any charge or tickets.

“I feel afraid because, like I said, it’s like four encounters from March to August. No tickets, no crime. I’m a law-abiding citizen.”

McRae has now officially asked the Police Ethics Commissioner to examine his case. ​