Two men say altercation in condo garage was fuelled by racism

A pair of Montrealers are thinking over their legal options after an altercation in a Laval-des-Rapides condo building's garage that they say was fueled by racism.

Jamol Ross said he was in the garage with a friend who owns a unit in the building at the time. The pair were washing a car when went to sit outside for a few minutes. When they returned, they were confronted by two men and a woman who claimed to be part of the condo board.

They allege that one of the three was waiving a metal pipe. Part of the incident was caught on video, in which one of the men demanded Ross and his friend speak French. The other man then called police.

Ross said he has no doubts the incident was racially motivated.

“As soon as the guy came into the garage, when we're at the car, he said he's calling the police, I (began to) record,” he said. “If something happens, I want to have my proof, I know how the system is.”

Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations executive director Fo Niemi called the incident “a typical, essential Karen situation,” a reference to online slang about innocent People of Colour being confronted by white people.

“Basically, two Black men doing nothing, doing their own thing, going about their regular thing and being faced with people who suspect them of something illegal, people who come to them with unjustified hostility,” he said.

The condo board said they did not know who the men and woman in the video are, but that if Ross and his friend believe they were racially profiled, they should go to the police.

Ross said he wants police to investigate and have the trio charged.  

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