MONTREAL – For some Canadians, the 90-second video stirred memories George Floyd: A white police officer appears to be kneeling on the neck of a black teenager with his face down on the ground in a Montreal street.
On Saturday, police said they were investigating what happened after a video of the meeting sparked a protest from politicians and human rights advocates, many of whom have expressed concern about the way the 14-year-old appears to have been restrained.
Montreal police said the confrontation occurred on June 10 after officers were called to the scene of a fight between 15 young men near a high school in the Montreal neighborhood of Villeray. They said two of the young men were armed.
It was not clear what happened in the lead up to the confrontation between the officer and the teenager. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that the teen was subdued by the officers’ knees for less than a minute and that one of the officers said the young man was carrying what appeared to be a stun gun
The protest comes as Canada is undergoing a national awakening around institutional racism, including among police forces, which has been fueled by the Black Lives Matter movement. The killing of Mr Floyd last year by Minneapolis police officers sparked that movement.
“This brings back memories of what happened to George Floyd, as the police use the same method,” he said. Balarama Holness, a human rights defender running for mayor of Montreal.
“The police must be held accountable,” said Mr. Holness. “These forms of techniques shouldn’t be allowed, period.”
Fernando BeltonA criminal defense attorney representing the teen in the video said he and another teen, also aged 14, were arrested after police officers arrived at the scene and the teens started fleeing. He said two police officers overran a teen, while six officers arrested a second. He said that their knees are placed on their necks.
“Why do you need so much police force against teenagers?” asked Mr. Bilton, who teaches a class on racial profiling at the University of Ottawa. We’re talking about these not criminals, but teenagers caught in broad daylight.”
Next comes the video protest Brenda Loki, The Commissioner of the Canadian National Police Force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, was forced to Undo her previous denial From systematic racism inside force. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was among those who argued that police forces across the country are grappling with systemic racism.
Last year, Canadians reacted angrily to a police cam video showing it Aboriginal leader He was detained by a police officer and thrown to the ground by another, punched in the head and put to the chokehold.
While Canada prides itself on being a progressive and liberal bastion, human rights advocates say law enforcement agencies need to make fundamental cultural changes to prevent minorities from being targeted.
Concern about police behavior has extended beyond Montreal. A study by the Ontario Human Rights Commission reported that between 2013 and 2017, black people in Toronto were nearly 20 times as likely as white people to participate in fatal shootings by Toronto police.