Couple fears for safety after man hurls racist insults in front of their 8-year-old daughter
- Stephane Giroux, CTV News Montreal Videojournalist
Nadisha Hosein was pulling out of her driveway in Montreal's LaSalle borough with her husband, Pramit Patel, and their eight-year-old daughter last Thursday, when a pedestrian came out of nowhere behind her.
"When I saw him, I thought I'll just wait until he passes, and I'll continue reversing," she said.
The man, however, started berating her and her family, yelling racist slurs.
"Go back to India or Pakistan, get out of here!" the man in his 50s yelled in French as a neighbour captured the exchange on camera. He also yelled at the two for speaking English.
Patel and Hosein were both born and raised in the Montreal area and speak French fluently.
"He told me to go home, so I thought, maybe he wants me to cross the bridge and return to Chateauguay where I was born," said Hosein.
The video then shows their next-door neighbour, Caroline Vinchon, trying to intervene, urging the man not to insult people in the neighbourhood.
"All the while, my eight-year-old daughter was sitting in the back seat, and she was witnessing the entire thing," said Hosein.
Vinchon first heard the shouting from her living room and took her share of insults.
"When he heard my accent," said the France-born woman, "he said, 'you're different, go back to France.' He started insulting me very badly. I told him you can be angry at people, but you cannot insult them about their race, religion or language."
Hosein and her husband called the police to report what they felt was a hate crime.
They said, however, that the Montreal police (SPVM) was of little help.
"They said they couldn't do anything since there were no threats involved," said Hosein.
The SPVM created a team specialized in investigating hate crimes in 2016, but the legal threshold for prosecuting a hate crime requires a physical threat or attack for racial motives - threatening someone because of their religion or vandalizing a home or place of worship using hateful messages for example.
But there's a subtle distinction between a hate incident and a hate crime.
Offensive material or insults are considered hate incidents.
Hosein said the SPVM initially said there was nothing they could do, but the police said it would transfer the incident report and the video to its hate crime division.
Anti-racism activists said the police should at least have tried to track down the man.
"Identify the guy, and determine his ability to escalate the incident from verbal diarrhea to an actual act of violence," said former RCMP officer and anti-racism group Red Coalition president Alain Babineau. "But they didn't do that. That's lazy police work."
Neighbours told CTV News that the man often walks in the neighbourhood. CTV News found the man, who denied he was racist and said there were two sides to the story.
He then physically tried to assault this reporter when pressed for comments.
"This is my home," he said while walking away and saying that the bilingual couple had a duty to speak French.
For Hosein though, the insults cut deeply. Especially because it happened in front of their daughter. "While we were driving away, my daughter said, 'Mommy are we the wrong colour?'" she said. "So I said, 'We're not the wrong colour. There are just stupid people in the world.'"
She did, however, have harsh words for the current political climate in Quebec because of the recent adoption of Bill 21, which limits the use of religious symbols, and Bill 96, an updated version of Quebec's French-language law.
"It's the first time my husband and I have experienced racism the whole time we've been living here," she said. "Premier Francois Legault said he was against multiculturalism [and] he has a big following. And maybe this man was one of them."
The family is now concerned about their own safety, knowing that the man who came at them so aggressively lives in their neighbourhood.
Policier au Québec: un métier encore fermé aux résidents permanents
May 7th, 2023
Plaidoyer pour intégrer des résidents permanents au sein des corps policiers québécois
May 5th, 2023
Plea to integrate permanent residents into Quebec police forces
May 5th, 2023
Allegations of discrimination and racism at Montreal-area elementary school
May 4th, 2023
Pearson Board denies allegations of systemic racism, assault
May 3rd, 2023
Family of Montreal man killed while unlawfully jailed wants systemic racism inquiryLa famille de l’homme demande une enquête sur le racisme systémiqueSystemic racism inquiry called for by family of man who died after being pepper-sprayed at Bordeaux prisonDétenu mort à la prison de Bordeaux: une coalition exige plus de transparence sur le milieu carcéralUN GROUPE ANTIRACISTE RÉCLAME UNE ENQUÊTE PUBLIQUE SUR LA MORT DU DÉTENU DE BORDEAUXRights group seeks public inquiry into death of man in Montreal jailLobby group seeks public inquiry in Montreal man's jail deathAnti-racism group calls for release of video in connection with Montreal jail deathCivil rights group calls for inquiry into death of illegally jailed 21-year-old black manUne coalition réclame la publication de la vidéo de l’interventionLobby group seeks public inquiry, release of video in Montreal man’s jail deathAnti-racism group claims Quebec told Longueuil police to ignore court order on racial profilingAllison Hanes: Montreal prison death demands urgent answersRed Coalition: Quebec ministry told Longueuil police force to defy court order on racial profilingQuebec told Longueuil police to disregard court order on racial profiling, says anti-racism groupCivil rights group accuses Quebec of covering up race-based police dataQue s’est-il passé à Bordeaux ?Public inquiry ordered into jail death of illegally detained Montreal manPublic inquest to be held into death of man in Montreal jailChief coroner orders public inquiry into death of 21-year-old illegally detained at Bordeaux jailCoroner orders public inquiry into Montreal man's jail deathIl y aura une enquête publique du coroner sur la mort de Nicous SpringRed Coalition calling for investigation into systemic racism in Quebec jailsChief Coroner orders public inquiry into death of Nicous SpringPolice union head tells Montreal's new chief: staffing shortages 1st, community policing 2ndPROFILAGE RACIAL: UNE PLAINTE OFFICIELLE DÉPOSÉE CONTRE LA VILLE DE LONGUEUILCoalition alleges contempt of court against LongueuilPROFILAGE RACIAL: «LA CAQ DOIT TENIR SES PROMESSES», ESTIME LA COALITION ROUGEGroups to kick off Black History Month with measures to fight racism
Anti-racism group accuses Montreal-area school of systemic racismCalls grow to change streets named after Christopher Columbus on island of MontrealQuebec sisters afraid to go school, say racism complaints ignoredGroup says private school near Montreal ignored racism complaintsCas de racisme et de cyberintimidation au Collège Bourget de RigaudUn citoyen souhaite «annuler» Christophe Colomb à Pointe-ClaireRACISME ET CYBERINTIMIDATION: LE COLLÈGE BOURGET MIS EN DEMEUREBlack anti-racism groups lob volleys at Canada and QuebecProminent Quebeckers voice support for Trudeau’s anti-Islamophobia representativeProminent Québecers plead for federal anti-Islamophobia rep to be given a chancePetition against Bill 21 tabled at National AssemblyMontreal police brotherhood says it's too easy to blame its members for racial profilingLongueuil, other Quebec police slow in implementing race-based data frameworkAucune accusation ne sera portée contre les policiers qui ont tué Junior OlivierCalls for police accountability as officers who fatally shot Jean René Olivier face no chargesLack of care on Loyola property "unacceptable":DeBellefeuilleGroups call to cancel puppet show featuring minstrel characterUn spectacle pour enfants sème la controverse dans l’ouest de MontréalUn exemple de « racisme systémique », dénoncent des associationsLocal Montreal play carries on despite upset over controversial puppetFamily of man killed by Repentigny police says lawsuit incomingLa mère de Jean-René Junior Olivier poursuit la Ville de RepentignyLa mère de Jean-René Junior Olivier, abattu par des policiers de Repentigny en août 2021, a déposé une poursuite contre la Ville de RepentignyFamily of Black man killed by Repentigny police files to sue city for $430K in damages
Red Coalition alleges SPVM withholding findings on racial profilingAnti-racism group says Montreal police withheld findings of racial profiling reportUN GROUPE ANTIRACISTE AFFIRME QUE LE SPVM A RETENU LES CONCLUSIONS D'UN RAPPORT SUR LE PROFILAGE RACIALThis boarded-up building lays bare Montreal's crumbling social housing systemCity of Longueuil facing contempt charges related to police racial profilingLE PROFILAGE RACIAL EXERCÉ PAR LA POLICE DANS LA MIRE DU MINISTRE BONNARDELQuebec Bill on police practices facing criticismEthics complaint filed against Montreal executive committee chairperson"Smokescreen; a dog and pony show"City of Longueuil, Que. gets postponement of contempt of court charges
Pearson Board denies allegations of systemic racism, assaultAllegations of discrimination and racism at Montreal-area elementary schoolPlea to integrate permanent residents into Quebec police forcesPlaidoyer pour intégrer des résidents permanents au sein des corps policiers québécoisPolicier au Québec: un métier encore fermé aux résidents permanents
Quebec study exposes dramatic increase in police fundingNew initiative asks Montreal, Ottawa residents to film police interventionsMontrealers to have a say in hiring next police chief'We need to humanize the police': Que. police association aims to improve public image with new campaignVideo shows Montreal police officer pushing homeless man into concrete block; SPVM investigatingSPVM investigation follows video appearing to show abuse by two Montreal police officers
Babineau leaves City position to head Red CoalitionAlain Babineau joins The Red Coalition, dedicated to eliminating racial profiling, systemic racism in MontrealBill 21: A petition to amend Quebec’s secularism law needs 500 signatures by FridayYOUNG LOCAL BLACK ENTREPRENEUR REFUSED THE USE OF WASHROOM AT A MONTREAL ULTRAMAR GAS STATIONMarlene Jennings joins The Red CoalitionJennings joins Red Coalition
'Screaming for change': Repentigny, Que. residents demand action on racial profiling at sit-inThe Roxboro lemonade stand takedownLaSalle couple wants racist comments investigated as a hate incidentViral video of racist rage in Montreal raises concern about climate of hate in QuebecMan appears on video shouting racist slurs at Montreal family, hate incident report being filedLa mairesse de Montréal dénonce des propos racistes tenus dans une vidéo virale«Va-t-en chez vous»: une engueulade raciste filmée à LaSallePolice investigating LaSalle confrontation as possible hate incident