City councillor of North African descent denied entry into press conference on racial profiling

image.jpg

MONTREAL -- The vice-chairman of the city's public security commitee was barred Monday from attending a press conference by Montreal police about racial profiling.

Abdelhaq Sari, a councillor with the opposition Ensemble Montreal party - who is of North-African descent - said he was outraged at being stopped by Montreal police officers from attending the event at police headquarters.

A video posted on Ensemble Montreal's Twitter account (see below) shows Sari yelling and gesticulating at police officers after he was stopped from taking in the press conference.

"It's unheard of!" Sari, who represents Montreal-Nord on city council, said in a statement Monday afternoon. "What right do SPVM officers have to intervene and hamper the work of an elected official?

"It's also rather ironic that I was prevented from attending a press conference about racialized people being stopped by police."

Sari is asking for Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante to condemn his treatment by police, and also wants SPVM chief Sylvain Caron to apologize.

At a press coneference Monday afternoon, Plante said she has no idea why Sari would have been kept out of the press conference, and added that she would ask Caron to contact Sari as soon as possible to discuss the incident.

Extrêmement troublant que le porte parole en sécurité publique d'@EnsembleMtl soit interdit d'accès à une conférence de presse du SPVM sur le profilage racial. D'autant plus que @sari_ab est lui même d'origine maghrébine
Nous demandons des excuses du @SPVM #polmtl #ensembleMTL pic.twitter.com/86L4CKaupx

— Ensemble Montréal (@EnsembleMtl) October 7, 2019