A video posted to Facebook two weeks ago depicts two Montreal STM officers forecfully attempt to arrest a man at Villa Maria station on the orange line. The eyewitness who posted the video alleged that the man in the video was brutally removed from the metro and subsequently beaten because he was bouncing a soccer ball. The man escaped and fled the scene before officers could arrest him. The video went viral, and though the STM alleged that they did nothing wrong, many were horrified by actions of the officers.
The man who was beaten, 21-year-old Juliano Gray, has since come forward to seek justice for the treatment he received.
TL;DR STM officers were caught on camera beating 21-year old Juliano Gray two weeks ago. Now, Mr. Gray has come forward to tell his side of the story and demand justice.
Juliano Gray was at a news conference at Montreal's Center for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR) today. In a press release, he explains what happened to him in the moments leading up to the video.
Juliano Gray, the man who was badly beaten by two STM officers in a viral video 2 weeks ago, breaks his silence. Calls the officer’s conduct “a brutal and excessive use of force” pic.twitter.com/8YRjhReRoi
On March 6, Gray was approached by officers because he was bouncing his soccer ball in the metro. Gray admitted that he did not have his fare, and the STM officers told him to get off at Snowdon to receive a fine for fare-dodging.
Gray stated that, as the car got crowded and other passengers got involved, he became disoriented and got off at Villa-Maria station by accident. Officers allegedly then tripped him and tackled him to the ground.
The video of what happens next can be found below:
Gray said that "it was brutal and excessive force," and that he wishes to be "the last one in Montreal to be hurt like that." He goes on to say that "no human being deserves the brutal aggression which could have killed me."
Gray said at the press conference that he ran from the officers because he feared for his life. He goes on to state that he called the STM soon after the incident to apologize.
Because of injuries and post-traumatic stress, Juliano Gray has lost his job as a dishwasher.
The young man who was beaten by STM inspectors on video has come forward. Juliano Gray says he feared he would be killed, was badly injured, and hid in a bush outside the station scared for over an hour. He and CRARR calling for an independent investigation. @BTCityNewsMTL pic.twitter.com/N0MqtNEw8I
Many are calling for an investigation into the matter. The executive director of the CRARR said that the "brutal beating of Juliano Gray is a new low for Montreal's race relations."
An advisor to the CRARR said that STM officers are only allowed to use their batons in self-defence. Police officers are allowed to use physical force when a crime has been committed, but not in the case of municipal infractions like an unpaid ticket.
Plante has stated that she is open to launching an investigation. The STM maintains that their officers were in the right, and stated that obstruction charges may be pressed against Juliano Gray.