A cop has apologized after he wrongly stopped a Black man in Ottawa. A video of the interaction, which has since gone viral, shows the officer incorrectly accusing the man of having expired license plates on his rental vehicle. Ottawa police say they’re “aware” of the concerns raised by the clip.
In a video shared on September 1, an Ottawa police officer can be seen pulling-over a driver and accusing him of having expired license plates.
The exchange has prompted backlash on social media, with many describing it as a clear example of racial profiling.
The driver explains in the clip that it’s a rental vehicle and that the officer should “call Enterprise” if there’s an issue with the plates.
The man then asks if he can get out of the car to see the plates himself.
The duo move to the back of the vehicle, where the driver points out that the plates are not actually out of-date at all.
The cop responds by saying, "Oh, that's my mistake."
The driver goes on to ask if he was stopped because he is a Black person, which the officer denies.
"I didn't see who was driving the car, I looked at the plates," he says.
The man tells the cop that he is "tired" of repeatedly being pulled over by police for no reason.
Systemic racism does not exist they say, well tell that to @OttawaPolice. If your ran the plate how did you not see… https://t.co/q2SGstzyh6— JusticeForAbdirahman (@JusticeForAbdirahman)1598977947.0
Responding to the backlash voiced on social media, Ottawa police confirmed that they’d “reviewed the video and resulting social media posts.”
Describing both the officer and the driver as “respectful,” they noted that their employee had owned his mistake and “fully apologized for it.”
However, they acknowledged the concerns raised by the public about racial profiling.
@J4Abdirahman @OPSChiefSloly @JimWatsonOttawa During the interaction, the officer realized he made a mistake – he o… https://t.co/SGEmW9yNFc— Ottawa Police (@Ottawa Police)1598996282.0
Noting that the service must continue to improve, they added, “We have introduced new policies, training & education for all officers in order to address these issues.”
The clip has been shared as protests and demonstrations continue across Canada, and the world, calling for an end to anti-Black racism and police impunity.
*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.