Montreal

Couple alleges racial profiling after excessive honking arrest by Montreal police

A Montreal couple who were pepper sprayed in their car by police after being stopped for excessive honking during Grand Prix festivities last June say they were victims of racial profiling.

Daniel Louis and Gertrude Dubois plan to file a human rights complaint

Daniel Louis, who held a news conference Wednesday, was pepper sprayed by Montreal police while sitting in his car during Grand Prix festivities earlier this year. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

A Montreal couple who were pepper sprayed in their car by police after being stopped for excessive honking during Grand Prix festivities last June say they were victims of racial profiling.

Daniel Louis and Gertrude Dubois, who are black, told a news conference today they will file a human rights complaint over what they call an unjustified arrest.

Louis was speaking for the first time about the June 9 incident, which was captured in a short video that was widely shared on social media.

He says what started out as an amicable chat with the police officer about honking his horn quickly escalated, and without warning he was doused with pepper spray.

Dubois, sitting next to him in his car, was also hit by the spray.

The Canadian Grand Prix attracts large crowds to the city centre, with plenty of drivers revving their engines and honking their horns, but Louis says he believes he was targeted because of his race.

The Montreal man says that in addition to two noise violation tickets, he was charged criminally with obstruction and resisting arrest. He says the Crown agreed to withdraw the criminal charges after he paid an $888 fine for his honking.

Louis has already filed a police ethics complaint. Montreal police declined comment because Quebec provincial police are investigating the incident.

now