Black customer says he was victim of racism in Laval coffee shop

A young black man interviewing a woman in a Quebec coffee shop was mistaken for a pimp soliciting a sex worker, causing a customer to call 911.

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Mactar Mbaye, a 23-year-old entrepreneur, says he was confused when police officers arrived at the Laval, Que., Tim Hortons last Thursday and asked for a word alone.

“It was like, what happened? What did I do?” Mbaye told CTV Montreal.

Police say the 911 call was made after a customer inside the coffee shop mistook Mbaye for a pimp.

A police spokesperson said that an officer asked Mbaye to talk “further away from all the public,” at which point the misunderstanding was cleared up.

Still, police say they ran Mbaye’s name through their computers before letting him go.

Mbaye insists that he’s not upset with police, who have to respond to every 911 call. One officer told him they would never have been called if he were white.

“I don’t have any anger against the police,” he said. “It’s against the person who called. Because just because I’m black, she thought that I was a pimp.”

Mbaye has since posted a video on Facebook about the incident, which has been shared more than 1,300 times. The clip has spurred plenty of attention, with some sharing similar experiences of discrimination.

“We’re in 2016. It’s not supposed to (happen).” Mbaye said.

As for the interviewee, Mbaye says that she got the job and is expected to start in the next few weeks.

With files from CTV Montreal


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