Visitor from Barbados files racial-profiling complaint

Posted by admin on Jul 12th, 2005

Visitor from Barbados files racial-profiling complaint, CBC News

A man from Barbados has filed a complaint of racial profiling with the Ottawa Police Service, saying police officers keep hassling him. Tristan Jones says he’s been stopped by police three times in the last four months. In the past four months, Tristin Jones said, police have stopped him three times for no good reason. He believes that, as a black man with dreadlocks, he is a magnet for some officers who automatically assume he’s dealing drugs. “I don’t deal with drugs,” he told CBC News. “I don’t interfere with anybody. I don’t commit crimes. I just walk on the road in peace. “You don’t see people and judge people by appearance, man. I don’t like that, man. I deal with anybody. I got white friends. I’m not racist. But you see, the cops right now, they are getting me pissed right off.”

Jones outlined the most recent incident in his complaint to the police service. He was waiting for a friend on a sidewalk last Wednesday when police drove up and said someone had fingered him as a dealer, the complaint says. The co-owner of Caramel Hair Salon says he saw Jones being questioned and searched.

Police were not satisfied with this Barbados Identification Card.”Honestly, the way they did it to him was so bad,” said Yves Vilpegue. “As a Canadian citizen, you are allowed to stand anywhere until you do something. I don’t know the guy, but I saw him all the time. He’s a cool guy. He’s not doing anything wrong.” Jones says police also took issue with his lack of Canadian identification. His girlfriend and daughter live in Canada, but since he’s just a visitor he carries only a Barbados Identification Card. “I’m a visitor. Stop harassing me,” said Jones. Immigration officials confirm that residents of Barbados do not need a visa to enter Canada. An officer with the professional standards section of the Ottawa Police Service says the Police Act prevents the service from commenting specifically about individual complaints. However, he said this complaint will be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated.

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