Mayor Valérie Plante is calling on the Montreal police force to explain how a Black man ended up in handcuffs last week for the theft of a car that ended up being his — and why officers didn't have the key to immediately uncuff him.
"I was shocked," said Plante during an interview Monday on Radio-Canada's Tout un matin.
The Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) said it is opening an administrative investigation into the events of that day, and Plante said she wants all the details "to be brought to light."
She said this incident demonstrates the importance of forging links and building trust between the SPVM and citizens.
"The population must be reassured that the SPVM is there for them," said Plante.
A video of the incident circulating on social media shows Brice Dossa, in handcuffs, angrily asking officers why they cuffed him before verifying the vehicle belonged to him and asking whether he was handcuffed because he is Black.
WATCH | Brice Dossa describes the moment he was wrongfully handcuffed:
Dossa said the incident left him feeling humiliated and discriminated against.
"I could be attacked anywhere for no reason. I'm not a criminal," said Dossa, who added he was never afraid of police until Thursday's incident.
Anti-racism and civil rights activists are calling for the SPVM to apologize to Dossa and for the Quebec government to acknowledge systemic racism.
A spokesperson for Quebec Public Security Minister François Bonnardel said the video "raises several questions" and he will look into the circumstances of the taped events.
For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.