Black Montreal man alleges excessive force by Montreal police during Super Bowl viewing gathering
A black Montreal man claims he was the victim of police brutality and racial profiling and has filed a complaint against the Montreal police force about officers who allegedly barged into his apartment by mistake while he and his friends were having a Super Bowl viewing get-together.
Taylor Zamor alleges that when he started to open his door to insistent and loud knocking, five Montreal police officers burst in, guns drawn.
Zamor said he put his hands up and asked what was going on.
"Their next answer was, 'Just shut up, get on the floor now,' and as soon as they said that, one of the officers ran up to me, grabbed me by the collar and threw me on the floor," said Zamor in an interview with CJAD 800.
Zamor said he was lying on the ground, with the officer pressing his knee into his back.
Zamor's friend Antz Apollon, who was also there, alleged police told him and other guests in the apartment to stay put with their hands up while they conducted a search. Apollon claimed police didn't even ask him for i.d. when they pulled him out of the apartment for questioning. Apollon said he was flabbergasted by the whole incident.
"It was shocking," said Apollon, "Humiliating."
Zamor said his roommate had told him moments ago that police were in the building looking for two black suspects in a stabbing out on the street.
Zamor and Apollon said officers had mixed explanations for their search: that there were two black families in the building, that they were told Zamor's apartment was where the suspects were hiding, that they were following a trail of wet footprints to Zamor's apartment.
Zamor claims police just left after that, with no further explanation. When Zamor asked if they were going to apologize, the supervisor allegedly said:
" 'We apologize if the way we did our intervention wasn't to your liking,' " said Zamor, who said he thought the answer was arrogant.
"I sat here, in front of you, a 30-year-old man, crying, and your answer to me is, 'Why do (I) need to apologize, why do (I) need to apologize?' Really?"
Zamor often became emotional speaking about the incident, taking a few pauses to compose himself.
"We did nothing to deserve this type of reaction," said Zamor.
Zamor, who first spoke to Vice.com about the incident, said he had to speak out about this.
"Just to make sure other people know, this is not fine, this is not ok," said Zamor.
Montreal police told CJAD 800 they won't comment for confidentiality reasons.
Fo Niemi, director general of the civil rights group CRARR, said they've intervened in cases like this.
"It sounds very familiar. It happened so many times before. A case of mistaken identity leading to someone's life and security and well-being being threatened and jeopardized," said Niemi.
"We often talk about psychological and physical damage but more important in the long term, is the loss of confidence of ordinary citizens like this man towards the police."
Zamor, a technical support specialist, , had to take several days off work - he now sees therapists for back pain and anxiety and is now wary of police.
"It's mostly fear, I'm just trying to avoid them," said Zamor.
"I'm just scared - I don't know what to expect (from them, what) their reaction to be. There's zero accountability on how I was treated."
Taylor Zamor, victim of police brutality
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