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Canada Video of black driver being pepper sprayed by Montreal police goes viral

09:06  11 june  2018
09:06  11 june  2018 Source:   montrealgazette.com

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A video that shows a Montreal police officer pepper spraying a black man in the driver ’s seat of a car and then being pulled from the vehicle as Grand Prix revellers thronged downtown sidewalks and roads on Saturday night had been viewed on Facebook more than 300,000 times by 10 p.m. Sunday.

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0611-city-pepper: A frame from a  video posted on Facebook that shows a Montreal police officer pepper spraying a black man in the driver’s seat of a car and then being pulled from the vehicle as Grand Prix revellers thronged downtown sidewalks and roads on Saturday night.  © Annie Louis via Facebook A frame from a  video posted on Facebook that shows a Montreal police officer pepper spraying a black man in the driver’s seat of a car and then being pulled from the vehicle as Grand Prix revellers thronged downtown sidewalks and roads on Saturday night. 

A video that shows a Montreal police officer pepper spraying a black man in the driver’s seat of a car and then being pulled from the vehicle as Grand Prix revellers thronged downtown sidewalks and roads on Saturday night had been viewed on Facebook more than 300,000 times by 10 p.m. Sunday.

“For honking?” the driver shouts repeatedly as he is removed from his car and handcuffed. “For honking?”

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But to everyone else, he is Kent Thomas, a 26-year-old man from Tacoma, WA whose Muslim ban protest video went viral on social media. © Annie Louis via Facebook A frame from a video posted on Facebook that shows a Montreal police officer pepper spraying a black man in the driver ’s seat

Montreal police have launched an investigation into an incident, captured on video and posted on social media, that shows an officer pepper - spraying a driver , who is black , in the face at close range.

The video, which runs for one minute, also shows protesting onlookers being pepper sprayed.

It’s impossible to judge simply from the video whether police used force appropriately, said Montreal police Inspector Ian Lafrenière. “We want to know what happened before.”

Any time a police officer uses force, a report must be filed, he explained — and pepper spray constitutes the use of force. “We are waiting for all the reports to see whether or not it was an appropriate use of force.”

During Grand Prix weekend, “there is a lot of testosterone,” Lafrenière observed. “People want to get attention” and so they like to rev their engines — a practice that is potentially dangerous for pedestrians, he said.

On Saturday night, Ste-Catherine St. W. was closed twice because there was so much traffic and so many cars revving their engines — “doing burns,” he said; it had just reopened a few minutes before the incident, which was not long before midnight.

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But to everyone else, he is Kent Thomas, a 26-year-old man from Tacoma, WA whose Muslim ban protest video went viral on social media. © Annie Louis via Facebook A frame from a video posted on Facebook that shows a Montreal police officer pepper spraying a black man in the driver ’s seat

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The driver, who was revving his engine and honking his horn as he drove along Ste-Catherine, had ignored repeated warnings by police to stop, Lafrenière said. An officer on bicycle patrol stopped his bicycle in front of the car near Drummond St. and the driver was asked for his licence: He refused to produce it and continued to advance his car, hitting the bicycle.

At this point, Lafrenière said, one of the officers used pepper spray to get the driver out of the car and the driver was handcuffed. He was arrested, charged and later released: He received two tickets, one for revving his engine and one for refusing to stop honking; in addition, he was charged with interfering with police work and resisting arrest.

“If someone gets a ticket, you can contest it. But you can’t flee the scene or push a police officer.”

“We will take our time and check it out. If there is a need for a full internal investigation,” he said, “we will do one. But we will not judge based on a video.”

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Suspended Montreal police chief resigns .
Montreal's suspended police chief won't be returning to his post. Mayor Valerie Plante said today that Philippe Pichet has renounced his claim to the position but will stay with the force as chief inspector. The announcement comes amid mounting criticism of Pichet, who was suspended with pay in December. The suspension came after a report by Michel Bouchard, who found irregularities in the Montreal police force including allegations about the practices of the internal investigations department. © Provided by thecanadianpress.

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