MONTREAL | Montreal of north african origin has filed a complaint with the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) after the agents had been prevented from entering his own home.
Early on the morning of 27 may, Ali Khiri is out of his apartment in the Plateau-Mont-Royal, awakened by the noise of a fire that had just occur in some of the buildings from his home.
Two SPVM officers have asked him to take a step back they move the cords safety up in front of him, and he asked if he could return to his building, which was not evacuated.
“To my surprise, the reaction of the sergeant has been as a sort of reaction of someone who is pissed off,” says Mr. Khiri. His colleague then made it back “without the possibility of discussion”.
After a couple of minutes, a neighbour has made the same request to the police, who would have left to spend. Mr. Khiri, therefore, requested access again, but has not had the expected response. “[The agent] takes me by the arm and make me wrong so that I am completely in a passive attitude. I am escorted, as if I was going to be arrested, outside of the security perimeter”, he says.
As he had to return home to work, Mr. Khiri is made in his back yard, passing through the interior of the apartment of a neighbor, who was not part of the security zone. In the seeing, one of the agents entered the court and made “out of force”.
A neighbor, Melanie Lopes, has been a witness to the scene with his mother. “[The police officer] told me that we two could be back home,” she points out. “It doesn’t make sense, and why we could, but not him?”
When a third officer took over, Mr. Khiri only had to wait five minutes before they let him home. “It is as if I had been kept there as a prisoner and eventually when the other agent saw that there was no necessity that I be there, let me go”, he argues.
Mr. Khiri is believed that several factors may have motivated the attitude of the two police officers in his respect. “It is not at all in the logic of maintaining order, it is in the logic to be really reactive to the ego, and the desire to show that we have the power”, he believes.
“And also, in the situation ,I was the only one of a visible minority. I ask myself the question, is this as it happened to me because I am a maghreb?”
The case comes at a time when discrimination and police brutality make the headlines every day since the African-American George Floyd was killed by a police officer in Minnesota.
This intervention of the SPVM has marked Mr. Khiri. “It has created a trauma in relation to the police.”
Montreal has filed a complaint on the website of the SPVM on the same day of the event. He said he then received a call from the supervisor of those officers.
“She put the agent and me on the same plane of equality in terms of responsibility, but also in terms of error,” he says.
He would have been criticized for being passed by the house of a neighbor in the time of confinement and says he was lucky not to have been punished with a fine of$1500.
The SPVM did not want to comment on the unfolding events.