An NDG man said an incident in which he was given a large fine was the fourth time he was racially profiled by Montreal police.
Kenrick McRae said he was cleaning trash out of his car earlier this week when police stopped him.
“I heard the male police officer who was on the passenger side say ‘Boy, who the car belong to?’ I turned around and said ‘Me, what’s the problem?’”
McRae said one of the officers approached him and asked for identification. When he asked why, the officer picked up an empty beer bottle from the trash bag and accused him of being under the influence.
“I said ‘If you’re accusing me of being under the influence, do a field sobriety test,’” he said.
McRae said the officers told him they didn’t have time to perform a breathalyzer and told him if he didn’t provide I.D., he would be arrested.
“I thought to myself ‘I don’t want to die today,’ so immediately I took out my I.D. and gave it to her,” he said.
The officers wrote him a ticket for $482 for being the driver of a vehicle and having consumed alcoholic beverages. McRae said he plans to contest it.
According to McRae, it’s the fourth time he’s been racially profiled by Montreal police. He said last year he was driving his girlfriend to work when police pulled him over, claiming he didn’t have a license plate, an accusation McRae denies. He filed a complaint with the Police Ethics Commission and said he plans to do the same for the latest incident.
Montreal police refused to respond saying they don’t comment on specific cases.
Former RCMP officer Alain Babineau said the incident is a clear example of racial profiling.
“Being approached by a police officer who says to him ‘Boy, who does this car belong to?’ as if it can’t belong to him… here’s a 45 or 40-year-old man who is being called a boy,” said Babineau. “You really gotta realize how deep the mindset of this police officer is to begin with.”
This summer the SPVM began tracking cases of alleged racial profiling for the first time. A report is scheduled to be released in the fall.