New Brunswick

Bathurst man called 'suspicious' for reading on wharf

A Bathurst man says he was pulled over and questioned by RCMP while driving home from Stonehaven wharf, and was told it was because police received several calls regarding a "suspicious black man" in a white car parked at the wharf.

Police stopped Louizandre Dauphin, who is black, on his way home from Stonehaven Wharf Thursday evening

Louizandre Dauphin went to Stonehaven Wharf to "read quietly," and was pulled over and questioned by police on his way home to Bathurst. (Bridget Yard/CBC )

A Bathurst man says he was pulled over and questioned by RCMP while driving home from Stonehaven wharf, and was told it was because police received several calls regarding a "suspicious black man" in a white car parked at the wharf.

Louizandre Dauphin, the director of parks, recreation and tourism for the City of Bathurst, was reading an anthology of works by C.S. Lewis.

Louizandre Dauphin says he has received lots of support from the community after writing about the incident on Facebook.. (Facebook)

"I came down to the wharf just to do some reading and just to spend some nice quiet time by the wharf," Dauphin said.

"I didn't think I was doing anything wrong."

As much as we like to turn up our noses to our brothers and sisters in the United States, we do have to recognize we have very much similar problems here in this country.- Louizandre Dauphin

RCMP said they were unable to provide comment on the incident, since no one was arrested or charged.

Dauphin said he isn't angry, just disappointed in the people who phoned police to report him.

"I'd imagine it was largely due to their suspicions of someone who is not common in the area and they might have had some preconceived notions," he said.

People in the Stonehaven area called police to report Dauphin as he sat in his white Volkswagen at Stonehaven Wharf. (Bridget Yard/CBC)

"We are a minority here. Not too many people of colour in the area."

Recent events in the United States, including fatal police shootings of black men in Baton Rouge, La., and St. Paul, Minn., as well as the fatal sniper attack on Dallas police, are heavy on Dauphin's mind.

'Similar problems' to U.S.

While Bathurst, N.B., seems far from the strife in America, he cautions the community to consider recent events.

"As much as we like to turn up our noses to our brothers and sisters in the United States, we do have to recognize we have very much similar problems here in this country," he said.

"I'm not a stranger to this and I don't think any person of colour is a stranger to this in Canada."