A black digital media specialist is speaking out today after having guns drawn on him by three Canadian cops in front of his 8-year-old son.
Hèzu Kpowbié, 42, told CBC News he used his cellphone to record the encounter Sept. 15 at Parc du Moulin in the Montreal suburb of Repentigny.
“I honestly thought that I could be killed,” he told the news outlet. “I pulled out my phone and started recording, so if something happened to me, at least people would know what happened.”
Kpowbié told the Montreal Gazette he takes his son to the park every week, so when the child and two other friends asked him to go while playing with toy cars outside their home, the group went on their usual walk.
When they arrived, the kids started riding their bikes and Kpowbié saw something he later identified as a letter opener fall out of one of the children’s pockets, he told the newspaper.
The child explained he had been carrying the tool to fix a toy, so Kpowbié picked it up, put it in his own pocket and told the child he would keep it while the children played, the Gazette reported.
Kpowbié told the newspaper he was sitting on a bench watching softball when a police officer approached him, pointing his gun and demanding he “drop the knife.”
Two other officers later joined the responding officer.
“I was completely in the dark,” Kpowbié told the Gazette. “I didn’t know what was going on and whether it was me they were pointing at or someone else.”
“I was looking around and wondering ‘What have I done?’” he added.
Kpowbié told the Gazette that at that point he threw the letter opener on the ground, told police he didn’t have a gun and let them search him.
Still, the officers ordered him to kneel and lie on his stomach so they could handcuff him, Kpowbié told the Gazette.
Kpowbié’s two-minute-20-second cellphone footage started after police initially approached him.
One officer can be seen aiming a gun at Kpowbié just feet away from a child riding his bike.
Officers ended up putting Kpowbié in the back of police cruiser and giving him a $150 ticket allegedly for carrying a weapon, the Gazette reported.