The video taken on April 10 shows several SPVM officers pinning Laarais to the ground.
One of the officers can be seen punching Laarais in the head several times.
Agnes Bebon, who witnessed the incident and shared the video above, told MTL Blog: "I saw [an] officer on a bike hit the man with the bike as he was walking. The officers then tackled him and placed him in a neck hold and then started punching him in the face."
"People were screaming that he can't breathe and to let him go. [Police] then placed him in the back of a cop car and drove away," Bebon said.
What does Belton say about Laarais' forceful arrest?
Police have claimed Laarais defied officers after they told him to stop consuming alcohol in public.
"Assuming that M. Laarais was actually drinking a beer and that the police officer wanted to give him a ticket, would a reasonable, prudent, diligent, and competent officer placed in the same circumstances have chased the citizen and rammed into him with his bike?"
"If M. Laarais had been a white woman, would he have been treated with the same level of force? Did the alleged offence warrant such a significant use of force?"
"I have a feeling that my client received differential treatment," Belton continued.
What does the SPVM have to say?
The SPVM declined to comment on Belton's statement "out of respect for the judicial process."
In a statement previously shared with MTL Blog, a spokesperson said police were analyzing the incident.
The spokesperson claimed Laarais "adopted [...] a fighting stance and showed them directly that he was going to resist actively" after officers "warned him verbally that he could not drink alcohol."
Police said Laarais was biting the officer who punched him in the head.
The spokesperson called the punches a "diversion [technique]."
"Nothing we can see in the video allows us to conclude that he resisted arrest," Belton countered.
"Very often, police officers will try to blame the person they’ve arrested for their own excessive use of force," the lawyer added.
Authorities have charged 36-year-old François Pelletier with first-degree murder following the stabbing death of Romane Bonnier, a 24-year-old Montreal woman, on Tuesday, October 19.
The SPVM told MTL Blog on October 20 that the victim and a then-unnamed suspect used to be roommates, but Audrey Roy Cloutier, spokesperson for the Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales (DPCP), could not confirm the nature of the relationship between Bonnier and Pelletier.
Cloutier explained, however, that a document detailing the nature of the charge states that the crime is suspected to have occurred "in the context of domestic violence."
On Tuesday, October 19, a 24-year-old Montreal woman was stabbed on rue Aylmer, near Milton, which is near McGill University.
SPVM spokesperson Véronique Dubuc told MTL Blog that there were "many witnesses" and police quickly arrived on the scene after receiving a 9-1-1 call about an altercation between a man and a woman on the street.
Witnesses were allegedly able to see the man stabbing the victim with a sharp object, as it was in broad daylight, taking place around 4:30 p.m.
When police arrived, the suspect was still on the scene and was arrested on the spot. The suspect is currently in custody.
The victim was transported to the hospital and was "severely injured on her upper body." At the hospital, she was declared dead.
According to Montreal police, the victim and suspect used to be roommates.
A 16-year-old was fatally stabbed in Montreal on Monday, police say.
SPVM spokesperson Julien Lévesque confirmed that police received a 9-1-1 call around 3 p.m. on Monday, in which they were informed that an individual had been "injured by a sharp object near a sports centre on Van Horne Avenue."
The incident took place in the Côte-Des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-De-Grâce borough.
Police say an altercation occurred involving a group of teens outside of Mile End high school, according to CBC News.
The victim was soon transferred to the hospital in a "critical state," where he ended up succumbing to his wounds.
Lévesque said this is the 25th homicide in Montreal this year.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.