A video posted to Facebook by Khalil Abouabdelmajid shows the moment Montreal police arrested him and tackled his friend — all outside a café that was hosting a one-year-old's birthday party.
The incident occured yesterday, Sunday February 10th. In the hours since Abouabdelmajid posted the video, it has garnered nearly one thousand reactions and over one thousands shares.
According to the post, Abouabdelmajid arrived at the café to find his daughter waiting with multiple police officers at its entrance. His friend had previously brought his daughter there from another children's event.
TL;DR A video posted to Facebook by Khalil Abouabdelmajid shows the moment SPVM officers arrested him, separating him from his daughter, and forced his friend to the ground in front of her own child. The video and Abouabdelmajid's account of the incident is below.
When he asked the police what was happening, they explained that they had been looking for a man who hit a girl wearing a mauve coat, much like his daughter's.
After a brief exchange, in which Abouabdelmajid provided identification, an officer took his daughter by the arm to ask her further questions. "Horrified, yellow, and confused," his daughter began to cry.
When he asked to accompany his daughter, two other officers forcibly separated them, he says.
At this point Abouabdelmajid recounts he attempted to explain that he was not the man they had been looking for and even suggested that they analyze local surveillance cameras for proof. The officers then handcuff him.
It was then that Abouabdelmajid's friend attempted to approach the police and offer further evidence that he was not the man for whom they had been hunting. "She did not even have time to finish her sentence when two policemen forced her to the ground to arrest her," he writes. The arrest took place in view of his friend's own child, who was waiting in her car.
This is the moment that a witness captured on video:
"I asked a policeman why they were so aggressive and he answered they they were just four among a group of forty people with beer and maybe knives."
But, Abouabdelmajid counters, "we were in a café, so no alcohol," claiming further that the birthday party inside consisted of children and only fifteen adults.
Now, Abouabdelmajid is confused as to why the police had approached his daughter at all. The police "were looking for a man in a green coat (mine is brown) and a four-year-old girl (my daughter is nine and a half years old)," he writes.
After the incident, he says his daughter couldn't stop shaking and threw up.
He has also shared surveillance footage from inside the café.
Hundreds of people have taken to the comment section under the post to encourage him to file a formal complaint with the SPVM and even pursue legal action.
Many people offer derogatory messages for the police.
This is the second incident in a week that has raised calls for a review of law enforcement tactics in Montreal. On Thursday, another video posted to Facebook showed the moment STM officers tackled two individuals at Atwater metro station. The passengers, Kya Morgan and Kareem Giles, say they are now contesting a fine for "obstructing justice" after Kareem bypassed turnstiles.
Abouabdelmajid's video is sure to renew calls for an assessment of police practices.