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Montreal, July 20, 2010 --- A 46-year-old Black Montrealer was arrested and handcuffed by two police officers after being intercepted last month while driving a Jaguar in the Notre Dame de Grâce (NDG) district of Montreal.

Mr. Ronn Mayers, an NDG resident, was driving in the late afternoon in his neighborhood to see some friends. He had parked his car in the Walkley Center and was he was walking across the street to go to a corner store when he was stopped by the two officers, who he noticed had been following him in his car for a few blocks. They asked for his car registration papers. When he asked why, the female officer told him the car he was driving was registered to a woman (the woman in question is Mr. Mayers’ mother). Knowing where the conversation was going, he asked whether the car was reported stolen and then to speak to the police supervisor.

Instead of the supervisor, five more police cars were called to the scene. The two officers who intercepted him told Mr. Mayers that he was under arrest and then proceeded to handcuff him and place him in the back of their police vehicle. No one informed him of the reasons for his arrest.

He was later released, and fined for “not signalling his intention to turn right by means of the turn-signal light” ($52) and “not surrendering his licence at the request of a peace officer” ($154). He received the tickets after having the handcuffs removed and before showing the two arresting officers the car registration papers. The police then left.

During his arrest, one of the back-up police officers came to say something to the male arresting officer. This back-up officer is the same officer against whom Mr. Mayers had filed a previous police ethics complaint involving an abusive arrest of his son (the case against this officer and two of his colleagues will be heard by the Police Ethics Committee at the end of July 2010). Mr. Mayers later saw this same officer check the Jaguar once again later the same day. This officer was also involved in the arrest and detention of another Black man in NDG for jaywalking, during the same period (the case will also go to the Police Ethics Commissioner).

Feeling that he was the target of racial profiling and abusive arrest, Mr. Mayers filed a complaint with the Police Ethics Commissioner this week. A civil rights complaint may also be filed.

Mr. Mayers' 14-year old son spoke out last month in the Montreal Gazette about police discrimination and abuse in NDG.