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Montreal cops should apologize to Black man suspected of stealing own car: group

A video shows that after the officers decided to release the man, they realized they did not have a handcuff key and had to call a patrol vehicle to unlock the cuffs.

MONTREAL — A Montreal anti-racism group says city police should apologize to a Black man who was handcuffed on Thursday after officers suspected he was attempting to steal his own car.
In a video of the incident circulating on social media, the man asks officers if they handcuffed him because he is Black.
The video also shows that after the officers decided to release the man, they realized they did not have a handcuff key and had to call a patrol vehicle to unlock the cuffs.
Montreal police acknowledged the video in a post on Twitter, saying officers found a vehicle in a mall parking lot that had marks on it suggesting it had been stolen. They say the man was detained for investigative purposes and ultimately released without charge.
Alain Babineau, the racial profiling and public safety director at anti-racial profiling group Red Coalition and a 27-year veteran of the RCMP, says that when someone is subject to investigative detention by police they must be allowed to leave. And while police can handcuff someone who poses a threat, he says the move escalates the interaction into an arrest.
Babineau, who became a lawyer after retiring from the federal police force, says he wonders if the man was handcuffed because the officers see Black men as being inherently violent.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 5, 2022.

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