May 29th, 2024

Police who found loaded gun in ‘man purse’ did not profile suspect: Quebec judge

By The Canadian Press on April 24, 2024.

An attendee holds a pistol at the booth of an exhibitor at the CANSEC trade show in Ottawa on Wednesday, June 1, 2022. A Quebec judge says that police are allowed to be suspicious of men carrying shoulder bags if they see other signs the man may be carrying a concealed weapon. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

MONTREAL – A Quebec judge says police who searched a suspect carrying a “man purse” and found a loaded weapon inside did not engage in profiling.

The case involves Marcus Nimeri, who was stopped by Montreal police in October 2023 and found to be carrying in his shoulder bag a handgun that had been illegally modified.

Nimeri’s lawyer argued the search was illegal and that his client was profiled because he was carrying a “man purse,” which are popular with men from Black and Arab communities.

Police officers testified at trial that the majority of guns they seize are found inside shoulder bags.

In an April 18 decision, Quebec Court judge Dennis Galiatsatos said there is no evidence the accessories are particularly popular with certain racialized communities, and he found Nimeri guilty of possessing a loaded prohibited weapon, carrying a concealed weapon and obstructing a peace officer.

Galiatsatos says men who are worried that strapping on a “man purse” will draw police attention can carry their personal items in a wallet or their pockets.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 24, 2024.

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