An alleged altercation with a police officer on Thursday afternoon ended with homophobic insults and a ticket, according to a Montreal man, but it may not have been the first such incident involving the officer.
Robert Mostaway said he arrived at the corner of Park and Beaumont that afternoon as police were on the site dealing with a gas leak. As he parked his car, Mostaway said the officer confronted him, and the interaction left him shaken and scared. .
“I walked across the street to this building where my husband works and he got out of his car and chased me,” said Mostaway. “He was yelling at me, saying ‘Hey come here, come here.’ He said ‘You did two wrong things, I want your driver’s license and registration.’”
Mostaway said he took the officer to his car to retrieve the documents. When he handed over the license, he said the officer threatened to arrest him if he didn’t hand over his registration.
“I said, ‘Give me a minute, I’m getting it out of the (glove) box for you.’ He continued yelling at me. I said ‘I want to speak to your supervisor,’ and he refused… He was becoming aggressive, he wanted the registration from the car. He said ‘Give it to me, you f—king faggot.”
As the officer wrote out a ticket, Mostaway called 911 to report the officer. The dispatcher asked for the officer’s badge number but when Mostaway asked him for it, the officer refused to give it to him.
Eventually, Mostaway was able to speak to the officer’s supervisor, but that conversation escalated to insults as well.
“The supervisor and me tried to talk, but it just turned into a yelling match,” he said. “He used the word faggot on me as well… he called me a bitch and a faggot, I was so upset I wasn’t sure what to do.”
Mostaway was issued two traffic tickets for $169 each and is contesting both of them. He’s also filed complaints against the officer and his supervisor with the police ethics commissioner.
A spokesperson for the SPVM said they won’t comment on complaints.
Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations Director Fo Niemi met with Mostaway to discuss the case. He said the officer in question is facing a similar complaint before the ethics committee in which the same supervisor is listed as a witness.
“Officers must be told what is no longer acceptable, what is tolerated and not tolerated,” said Niemi. “Citizens have to stand up for their constitutional rights when dealing with police officers.”
Mostaway said he’s determined to pursue his complaint as far as it can go.
“I just don’t think people of authority should be using these kinds of words, especially when they’ve sworn an oath,” he said.