A video has emerged that shows a Montreal police officer punching and choking a man several times while other officers hold him on the ground. The video has gone viral online, with many viewers accusing the police of using excessive force.
The video doesn’t explain why the man is being restrained. But a witness of the event says the young man who is of color was minding his own business sitting in a park. Then the man was stopped by the police and in their interaction, the man got up and walked away.
Three police officers then pursued the man, and another one with a bike intentionally crashed his bike into the man’s back. The officer then held the man’s neck, though he posed no threat or aggressiveness.
Despite being on the ground, the officer shoved his face into the dirt and leaned on him. Six to seven officers were on the guy.
“They shoved his face into the dirt and they were leaning on him. He was saying “Get off m, I can’t breathe. There must have been six or seven officers on the guy. It was just very aggressive for what it was. Their level was ten times higher than what it should have been.”
According to Alain Babineau, a retired RCMP sergeant, carotid restraint is similar to a chokehold. The good thing is that it does not cut off airflow. He however insisted that when not used properly, it can be dangerous.
Babineau who deals with issues of racial profiling, says that carotid maneuver should only be used when an officer has no other options and an officer is alone and fear for their safety.
“In Montreal, when a backup is a stone throw away, the use of carotid restraint should be kept to a minimum. It should be a life and death situation.”