'Shocking' police video appears to show 'excessive use of force,' Montreal mayor says
The cellphone video shows young man thrust into a police cruiser feet first
Mayor Valérie Plante says the police intervention captured in a video circulating online of a young man being lifted off the ground and thrust feet first into a police cruiser has "the appearance of use of excessive force."
"Like many Montrealers, I was quite shocked," she told CBC at city hall.
"Of course, it's only a piece of the puzzle. We don't know the whole story of what happened. But at this point, I've definitely got to say there's definitely the appearance of use of excessive force. And I am not comfortable with that as mayor."
Plante said she trusts the internal human resources protocol within the Montreal police force, but she expects to get answers about what exactly happened.
She added that all Montrealers should be able to feel safe in the hands of police.
Watch the video below:
The cellphone video, filmed outside Henri-Bourassa Metro just after 5 a.m. Monday, shows a handcuffed young man being thrust to the ground by an officer.
The male officer then lifts up the young man and throws him in the back of the police cruiser, feet first.
CBC News has been unable to determine the young man's identity or his age.
A server at a nearby bar told CBC News police were called after a patron alerted them to suspicious activity in the parking garage next door.
No comment from police
In a statement, Montreal police said Tuesday that they can't comment on the incident since it's under "analysis." They did not respond to another request for comment Wednesday.
Montreal's police brotherhood, the union representing the city's officers, told CBC in a statement that "without knowing the whole circumstances of an event, it's impossible to develop an informed opinion."
The union also declined to be interviewed.
Municipal opposition leader Lionel Perez tweeted in response to Plante's comments, saying that "actions speak louder than words."
He criticized Plante for voting against an independent inquiry when a video surfaced in March showing 21-year-old Juliano Gray being handled roughly by STM inspectors.
That video shows inspectors restraining Gray on the platform, his head centimetres away from an oncoming train, as he squirms, screams and gets smacked with metal.
"It was brutal and excessive force," Gray said at the time.
Perez's party pushed for an inquiry into the incident but it never happened.
With files from CBC's Jaela Bernstien