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Black man claims he was racially profiled by Terrebonne police: ‘I kind of live in fear’

“It’s the usual,” says Hally Seme, a Black man from Terrebonne, who is calling out the police after he says he was pulled over without reason on October 31. Something he believes was racial profiling. Felisha Adam reports.

Hally Seme, a Black man from Terrebonne, northeast of Montreal, believes he was pulled over by Terrebonne police without cause in October.

It’s an interaction he believes was motivated by the colour of his skin.

“It’s not the first time that I’m going through this with the police of Terrebonne,” said Seme. “I can’t even count on one hand how many times it happened to me.

“I kind of live in fear a little bit. Cause you never know what’s next. Like maybe the next time it might be more dangerous or something like that. They might take me for someone else and maybe put the guns out.”

Seme says the incident on Oct. 31 began when he noticed he was being followed by a patrol car as he was heading home from Montreal on Highway 25. He says, after exiting near Chemin Gascon and Moody, stopping correctly at a stop sign and signaling to turn left, Terrebonne police pulled him over.

Hally Seme holding his $173 fine from Terrebonne police. (CityNews/Felisha Adam)

Seme recorded the interaction with the officer. In the video he asks the officer why he was pulled over, to which the officer responded by saying: “because we are checking the validity of your documents.”


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Seme then went on to ask the officer about the Quebec Superior Court’s decision on Oct. 25, which prevents police from pulling over drivers without reason. Then officer then told him “that the law wasn’t passed yet,” and that she also had the right to check his sobriety.

Seme asks the officer “are you saying I look drunk right now?” and she responds, “Yes, I checked now and yes, plus you didn’t make a proper stop there.” The policewoman ends by saying: “you want reasons, we will give you some.”

“She made up a reason right on the spot,” said Alan Babineau of Red Coalition. “‘You say you want a reason. I’ll give it to you. Here it is.'”

Seme did get a ticket of $173 for having insurance that was expired. Seme says he accidentally gave the officer a document that expired three days earlier, when the new certificate was in his glove box. Seme tried to explain his mistake to the policewoman, but she simply walked away.

“It’s the usual,” said Seme. “They always find a reason to give me ticket.”

Red Coalition

The Red Coalition held a press conference Dec. 7, 2022 on claims that Hally Seme, a Black man from Terrebonne, was pulled over by Terrebonne police without cause. Photo Credit: Felisha Adam/CityNews

In an emailed statement to CityNews, Terrebonne police said they would not comment the situation. “When a citizen is unsatisfied with the work of a police officer, we always refer him to the Commissaire à la Déontologie policière du Québec. It is the appropriate way to file a complaint against a police officer.”

The incident comes after the landmark Quebec Superior Court decision in October which says police can no longer conduct traffic stops on motorists without reason.

“Black folks in Terrebonne living in fear. In their own town,” said Babineau. “And so what we’re saying is enough is enough, and we’re going to be holding the police accountable from a systemic standpoint.”

The Red Coalition will be pushing the incident further by filing a complaint with the Police Ethics Commissioner of Quebec. Those from the organization say it is time for the police force to be held accountable for their actions.

“We literally could be here every single day, seven days a week, with incidents of racial profiling, with victims saying the exact same thing in Terrebone as well as in Laval. Everywhere,” said Joel DeBellefeuille, also of Red Coalition. “And it’s really unfortunate. So we’re literally planting our feet in the ground and we’re not budging. And we are moving forward with regards to putting a lid on this problem.”

Red Coalition says it will file a police ethics complaint against the officer in question and the Terrebonne police director.

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