Quebec police investigating violent arrest involving Black teenagers

MONTREAL – Videos circulating on social media over the weekend of Quebec City police involved in a violent arrest with black teens sparked backlash across the province, including from the prime minister.

MONTREAL – Videos circulating on social media over the weekend of Quebec City police involved in a violent arrest with black teens sparked backlash across the province, including from the prime minister.

François Legault issued a tweet on Sunday, saying he had been made aware of the disturbing footage.

“We need to shed light on the event,” Legault said.

Quebec City police said they are investigating the violent arrest after videos of officers dragging, beating and catching black youths in the snow began circulating on social media on Saturday.

Police issued a press release saying that the videos were taken from an interaction that took place between November 26 and 27. The statement said they are deeply concerned about the officers’ conduct and are examining the circumstances.

“The SPVQ has been informed of videos circulating on social networks involving police officers who allegedly interfered in a manner substantially related to the management of the police service,” Quebec City Police spokeswoman Marie-Pierre Revard said in a statement.

Police did not provide further details about the interaction or the identity of the people involved in the videos.

But professional boxer Eric Martel Bahweli said he recognized one of the young black men in the video.

Martel Bahweli said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

Martel Bholi said the police had no excuse for such behaviour.

“Obviously you can see that he is paralyzed with his arm behind his back,” he said, adding that he was still waiting for news of the young man’s condition. “To do this to a young man, without justification, has no place.”

The arrest only increases racial tensions between police officers and the black community, continued Martel Bholey.

“It’s not normal in 2021, when you look at Quebec City and you look at the police force, which is supposed to be representative of the population, that there aren’t any black police officers in Quebec,” said Martel Bahuele.

Robert Begeon, the former chief of the Quebec City Police Force, said in 2020, the force does not include individuals of color among its officers.

Newly elected Quebec City mayor Bruno Marchand and Benoit Charette, Quebec’s minister responsible for combating racism, also responded to the videos.

Sharett said the footage, which Marchand described as “disturbing,” raises undeniable questions.

“I will be following the results of the investigation with great interest,” Sharett said.

Quebec Liberal Party leader Dominique Engled has called for an independent investigation, but the Quebec police watchdog has yet to issue a statement on the matter.

-With files from Ugo Giguere

This report was first published by The Canadian Press on November 28, 2021.

Virginie Ann, Canadian Press

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