In Canada, a video of a police officer kneeling on a black teen has prompted calls for an investigation.
A video of a police officer squatting on a Black teenager’s neck in Montreal, Canada, has sparked outrage and requests for an investigation, with many comparing the image to George Floyd’s death.
According to the CBC, the video was taken during a June 10 event in which Montreal police were called to a dispute at Georges-Vanier High School involving more than a dozen young people.
Two teenagers were charged with carrying firearms, according to police, and a police officer can be seen in the video retrieving a stun gun in a backpack purportedly belonging to the young man who was pinned to the ground.
Two police officers can be seen kneeling on the Black young person for around 15 seconds in the footage, which is roughly a minute and a half long. One of the officers has his knee on the boy’s neck, yet he seemed to be unconcerned.
Both policemen stand up, but one returns to kneeling for at least 37 seconds on the teen’s neck and back. Because he is pinned down before and after the video begins and finishes, it is unclear how long the kid was detained.
Frantz Benjamin, a member of the Quebec National Assembly who is a Liberal, has demanded an investigation. Constituents have called the legislator to express their displeasure with the police’s behavior, with some saying the footage brought back the “collective trauma” of Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, Minnesota last year.
Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was killed on May 25, 2020, by former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who is white. A viral video of the massacre showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes, despite Floyd’s protests that he couldn’t breathe and bystanders pleading with him to stop. Chauvin was sacked from the police department, arrested, and found guilty of murder by a grand jury on April 20.
The murder, along with numerous other high-profile cases of Black Americans being slain by police, spurred major anti-racism and Black Lives Matter protests across the United States and around the world. Demonstrators demanded an end to structural racism in the legal system, and the wave of protests was dubbed the “biggest Civil Rights campaign in history.”
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