Video shows Quebec police hitting and pushing snow on the face of a black youth while he was stranded, investigation underway

QUEBEC РThe Service de police de Qu̩bec (SPVQ) announced on Saturday evening that it had opened an investigation into a violent arrest involving young black teenagers. The video of the event circulating on social networks shows police officers taking questioning gestures.

The SPVQ said in a statement to have “been made aware of videos” circulating concerning this intervention which took place “on the night of November 26 to 27”.

After viewing the video, the statement said, the behavior of the police officers involved “is of great concern to the management” of the police force.

“As soon as it was informed, the SPVQ consulted the said videos and acted to take all the necessary measures”, we read in the press release. “He also specifies that the professional standards module has been notified.

According to the SPVQ press release, the identity of the agents involved in the intervention is still being confirmed.

No details were given on the reason for the police intervention which aroused the indignation of many people on social networks.

Professional boxer Eric Martel-Bahoeli reposted the video from comedian Renzel Dashington’s Instagram account on his Facebook page, calling the behavior of one of the police officers “disgusting.”

In the video, a policeman uses his boot to wedge the snow in front of a teenager who is pinned face down by other policemen.

The young boy, a minor, is a protégé of Martel-Bahoéli, who trains him at the Nordik Boxing Club.

“First of all, I was extremely surprised to see the young man I knew and secondly, I was stunned, not to say completely scandalized, when I saw the gesture of the policeman who was free”, said the Canadian heavyweight champion in an interview with The Canadian Press.

“It does not make sense. He’s a kid, he’s a young man! It has no place with an adult, but there is also a young person who is not of age, ”said the native of Quebec.

“Clearly, he is immobilized, his arms behind his back. Doing that to a young person, if for free, it has no place. We talk about ‘serving and protecting’,” he said, adding that ” he was waiting for news on the boy’s condition.

For Martel-Bahoéli, such a gesture fuels the fire of racial tensions between the police and the black and indigenous community.

“I really didn’t like it. They’re not thugs, they’re not bad kids. They aren’t bad kids in life, from what I know. I found that shameful. “, did he declare.

He especially fears that such an incident destroys all the intervention work that he and his colleagues do with the young people of his boxing club.

According to him, teenagers come to the club in search of sport but also social support, which Martel-Bahoéli offers them. He also says he works with the Directorate General of Youth Protection to help young people.

Despite everything, he refuses to throw stones all over the police station. In his opinion, there are bad officers who give the whole force a bad name and it is they who must be identified and removed from the ranks.

Originally from Quebec, Martel-Bahoéli would also like to see black police officers at the SPVQ and as soon as possible.

“There are no black police officers in Quebec! This is not normal in 2021, when we look at Quebec City and look at the police force, which is supposed to be representative of the population, and there are no black police officers. officers in Quebec, ”he declared.

On Saturday evening, the newly elected mayor of Quebec, Bruno Marchand, also reacted to the video by posting a message on his Twitter account. Saying “disturbed by these images”, promising that “light will be shed on these events”.

– This report by La Presse Canadienne was first published in French on November 27, 2021.

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