Montreal police beat up white guy, detain him for a week to prove there’s no racial profiling

Montreal’s police department said on Friday it feels vindicated after officers savagely beat an affluent white man and kept him in jail for a week after mistaking him for a criminal suspect.

“I think this proves quite clearly that this department doesn’t engage in racial profiling,” said Capt. Manuel Di Adosbobos. “We treat everyone equally here.”

Richard Marc Lebanc was arrested on March 22nd while standing next to his car in an Outremont parking lot. Police said they were searching for a man fitting his description who was suspected of engaging in acts of fraud in the area.

“We didn’t give him the benefit of the doubt just because he was white,” Di Adosbobos said. “We said someone said it was him, we physically restrained him to protect ourselves, and we sent him to jail without a second thought.”

The actual suspect in the string of crimes, Mark R. White, was arrested a few days later and confessed to the crimes after a 37-hour interrogation. Two days after that, Leblanc was let go.

The police department said they were sorry that, for reasons beyond their control, Leblanc was the tragic victim of circumstance.

One thought on “Montreal police beat up white guy, detain him for a week to prove there’s no racial profiling

  1. Michael Black

    But this isn’t a joke.

    In November 1980, after being stopped and me reacting to it happening yet again, the other undercover cops disappeared so their leader could tell me how badly he wanted to beat me up. Though he just threatened.

    Twice I was hauled to the police station. The first time, it seemed like a ruse to get me to identify myself. The other time, as usual they demanded ID and when I said I didn’t have any, I was in the back of a police car, I can’t remember if I was handcuffed. Then, they said I looked like someone they were looking for, maybe possible since there was a drawing in the Downtowner. But it was after 5pm on a Saturday, I did worry abiut being stuck there or worse. After about an hour I was let out of the cell, no apology.

    This didn’t start with Black Lives Matter, and it can’t require violence to be noteworthy. Every time I was stopped, they wanted ID. I was targetted, it wasn’t random. Since I never got reason from them, I must assume that they decided I.must be a criminal, so running a check would turn up something they could latch on. Except they never could, and I was never charged with not identifying myself (which is only required if you’re driving, or they express some legit reason),, or oddly, for carrying a Swiss Army.Knife.

    Since they decided I was criminal to start with, I didn’t deserve an apology, indeed the first time I was sworn at. After I checked into legalities and started saying I didn’t have to identify myself, only the first time was I allowed to pass. The rest, they seemed to see it as guilt. So they illegally searched me, and that threat of a beating.

    In 1986, the Quebec Human Rights Commission had hearings on racial profiling. I wrote about my experience, I think it was up to 12 times by then, including the threat and the two trips to the police station. You have no police to protect you when they are the criminals. I said “If it happens to me, of course it happens to Black people”. Indeed, the only stories I saw that reflected my experience was stories from Black people.

    So now the focus is on violence, some articles even refer to police brutality rather than abuse. But the story should be the damage done to people when the cops decided they must be criminal. It’s the woman sitting on a bench who gets approached, the woman who’s arm was broken, it’s Gemma Raeburn-Baynes moving some boxes with friends and the cops showing up. It’s being stopped a block from where you’ve always lived, as if you don’t belong.

    I was given immunity from racism, though I’m now aware that a flip of a switch and this too could be racism. But I think outside amplifiers are trying to see this like southern sherriffs. But that was a racist society, those cops didn’t happen to be racist, and their job was to enforce segregation. There may be cops like that in Montreal, but I suspect it’s more subtle. A Black person sticks out, so the cops see that as criminal, and the rest follows. If they treat you badly, they’ve lost their protection as cops. Having decided someone must be a criminal, they don’t treat them with respect, and they don’t want people pushing back.

    We aren’t obligated to fit someone else’s sense of “normal” so they can catch criminals. They need to observe for real crime, or even hints of it (like walking down an alley at 3am perhaps) than picking on.people who “don’t look like the others”.

    In December 2019 I fell the second time I was out after being inside from being real sick for 9 months. As I looking to see where I could crawl to leverage myself up, a cop stopped to help me up. But I felt like I had done something wrong, a legacy of all those times I was stopped by the cops for no reason.

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