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A Video Shows Montreal Police Kneeling On A Black Teenager's Neck & Back

The SPVM says the officers' actions are under review.
A Video Shows Montreal Police Kneeling On A Black Teenager

A video taken on June 10 appears to show a Montreal police officer kneeling on the neck and back of a Black teenager while conducting an arrest. 

The SPVM told MTL Blog that officers were responding to a 911 call at the George-Vanier High School, in Montreal's Villeray neighbourhood, "because a fight was in progress involving about fifteen individuals."

This article contains graphic content that might not be suitable for some readers.

What we can see in the video?

Anastasia Marcelin | Facebook

The minute-and-a-half-long video, posted to Facebook and shared with MTL Blog, shows two Montreal police officers in the process of arresting the teenager, whose gender police have not confirmed.

While placing handcuffs on them, one officer appears to kneel on the neck of the teenager, who is face down on the ground and not resisting.

The officer then appears to search the teen, flipping them on their side and kneeling on their back and shoulders.

It is not known how long the officer was kneeling on the teen before the video started.

Another officer who earlier appeared to kneel on the teen's lower body stood up after placing them in handcuffs. 

That officer later shows an object he says is a taser to the camera.

What does the SPVM claim happened?

Anastasia Marcelin | Facebook

In a statement sent to MTL Blog, police claimed the teenager in the video was in possession of a taser.

The SPVM said "several statements of offence were issued" during its intervention in the alleged altercation between the 15 individuals. Another individual was allegedly in possession of bear repellent, according to the police report.

"Individuals were arrested for obstructing the work of a peace officer and for possession of a weapon, then released via summons, since they are minors," it continued.

The SPVM said that though "the neck control technique [was] not involved in this situation, it is part of the National Use of Force Model and that the ÉNPQ [École nationale de police du Québec] teaches it to police officers during their initial training."

Regarding the action of kneeling on the teenager's neck, the SPVM added that "certain types of use of force require that police officers write a report and submit it to their supervisor and then to their unit manager, who must then verify whether the use of force was justified."

Police also said a "review of the police response and use of force in this event is currently underway" with "support from the Use of Force Unit and its master instructors."

"Following the review," the SPVM continued, "the [neighbourhood post unit] manager will take the appropriate follow-up actions, as required."