Quebec man filing human rights complaint against RCMP, Edmonton airport security after alleged mistreatment
Posted November 17, 2023 4:49 pm.
Last Updated November 18, 2023 9:38 am.
A Quebec man has filed a human rights complaint against RCMP and airport security from the Edmonton International Airport, claiming he was mistreated.
Chrislain Kenfack says he was racially profiled in front of his two young children. He was going through security when he set off an alarm and was flagged for further inspection — which security says is standard protocol.
“I was searched for more than 10 minutes, far more than 10 minutes, and I complained about it after missing my flight,” explained Chrislain Kenfack, who claims he was racially profiled at Edmonton International Airport.
Kenfack says during the search he noticed two other white people had also triggered the alarm but weren’t subjected to similar treatment.
“He was told to ‘stop playing the race card’ and was told there is no way they can be racist because they have Black employees working for CATSA,” said Alain Babineau, Director of Racial Profiling and Public Safety with the Red Coalition.
In a statement, airport security says “CATSA is aware of the incident and can confirm that an investigation was conducted and the results were shared with the passenger. At any time that an alarm is triggered at the walk-through metal detector, passengers are required to undergo further screening, which includes a physical search. All alarms must be resolved prior to the passenger accessing the secure area.
“In this case, all procedures were followed by a screening officer in training and observed by their supervisor. A review of CCTV footage shows that no other passengers triggered an alarm during the time in question and CATSA strongly refutes any claim of racial profiling,” the statement continued.
“Upon missing their flight, the passenger returned to the checkpoint. After a prolonged discussion with no resolution and the passenger refused to leave, law enforcement was called to provide assistance.”
Kenfack says airport security brought in three RCMP officers. He tried to explain the situation to police but it quickly escalated, and Kenfack was violently brought to the ground and handcuffed.
“Keep in mind he had his two children in tow so they were watching and observing this while it was going on,” said Babineau.
The Red Coalition says after Kenfack was in custody the officers continued to accuse him of “playing the race card” and that the officers said, “I know people of your type, all you can do is make noise, but you can’t do anything. When we saw you, you smelled danger. I am sure that in your s*** country, police officers are more violent than that.”
Alberta RCMP said in a statement that officers spoke to Kenfack after they received a report that a man was refusing to leave the screening area.
“Kenfack who was upset after missing his flight and who refused to leave until he was given flights and accommodations. After attempts by RCMP to get Mr. Kenfack to leave the secure area, Mr. Kenfack was warned that should he not leave he would be arrested,” said the RCMP, before confirming those charges were dropped.
“Mr. Kenfack was placed under arrest for Mischief and Cause a disturbance. A struggle took place between Mr. Kenfack and police as Mr. Kenfack was placed in handcuffs and removed from the secured area.”
Kenfack is now speaking out, saying he wants justice.
“There was no conversation to address the trauma my kids are going through, and the trauma I am going through,” said Kenfack.
The Edmonton International Airport normally grants media access to film on their property. Today, for this story, CityNews was told it would not be allowed to film on airport property.