A few hundred demonstrators gathered at Montreal’s Jarry Park on Sunday afternoon to voice their concerns over an incident that took place at Jean-Talon Metro station last Saturday.
The incident was caught on someone’s phone and the video was widely circulated on social media. It even got the attention of Mayor Valérie Plante, who called the images disturbing.
The footage shows two STM security officers pinning down a Black woman and then violently fighting with her as witnesses try and intervene while someone is heard loudly screaming.
Demonstrators at Jarry Park said the STM officers’ behavior is unacceptable.
“Beating, choking, brutalizing a trans Black woman in the Metro over $3.50 of a fare. That’s not right,” said demonstrator Onnie, who did not want to give their last name.
“Being here is a matter of visibility, it’s a matter of something I can do, so I’m not just at home driving myself insane,” they added.
Another demonstrator who did not give his name said when he saw the video, he felt sick, and it reminded him of George Floyd.
“I’m a little tired of seeing those images,” he said.
“I think it’s important that we see them because it’s not just happening in the U.S., [and] I want better for my city.”
Organizers did not speak with reporters but in a press release said the demonstration was to protest against the STM officers’ change of status to “Constable” this July.
They called the incident an act of police violence and say they want accountability from city officials, the STM, and the Montreal police.