Black Man Says Montreal Police Violently Handcuffed Him After He Stopped to Observe Arrest of Another Black Man

Prodil Houanhou says he was violently handcuffed and ticketed by Montreal police after stopping to observe the potential arrest of another Black man. (Chloe Ranaldi/CBC)

A young Black man is accusing Montreal police of racial profiling after he says he was violently handcuffed after stopping to observe the potential arrest of another Black man on Saturday.

While biking to a friend’s house, Prodil Houanhou says, he instinctively stopped when he saw a Black man being interrogated by two police officers across the street from him near De Maisonneuve Boulevard and Montcalm Street.

“I’ve seen so many videos, you know,” said Houanhou. “I just stopped to see how it goes, to see if he’s going to be treated correctly.”

Houanhou says the reason he stopped to observe what was happening was because he’s seen a growing number of videos circulating of Montreal police treating Black people they detain roughly.

Last summer, Montreal police announced a new policy guiding officers around street checks after an internal study found police in the city were four to five times more likely to stop young Black people. But advocates and even the City of Montreal said the force should go further by banning the practice altogether.

Houanhou says an officer with the Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) noticed him watching and stepped out of his cruiser and asked: “What are you waiting for, to start filming?”

Houanhou said another officer approached him and asked if he knew the man who was being arrested. He said he didn’t.

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