Quebec police pepper spray man in front of his children

A man in Chateauguay, Que., says he may have been the victim of racial profiling when police pulled over his vehicle and pepper sprayed him while his children sat in the back seat.

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The incident happened on Monday last week. John Chilcott had just arrived home to pick up his two daughters, ages seven and 10, to drive them to school.

Police approached him in the parking lot and asked for his identification. Chilcott responded by asking what he had done wrong.

He said that’s when an officer pepper sprayed him.

“I was treated like an animal,” he told CTV Montreal. “There was no regard for my human rights.”

Chilcott’s wife, Rosemarie Edwards, was nearby and caught video of the aftermath on her smartphone.

“There was no warning,” she said. “I'm not an officer, but I don't think it's supposed to go down like that.”

Chilcott's children also came into contact with pepper spray and were treated in hospital. Meanwhile, Chilcott was taken to a police station but not charged.

Four days later, he received three tickets that totalled more than $1,000.

Chilcott, who has no criminal record, says he has been pulled over by police several times in the past.

He wants police to investigate the pepper-spray incident, and has sought help from the Centre for Research Action on Race Relations.

The group’s executive director, Fo Niemi, said the incident “points to a very disturbing pattern of immediate hostility towards a driver, excessive use of force and disregard for the children's safety.”

Chateauguay police said the officer’s actions were due to Highway Safety Code infractions, and because Chilcott refused to comply with police and did not provide identification.

With files from CTV Montreal



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