Black Halifax Regional Police officer wants answers after being pulled over by RCMP at gunpoint

A Black Halifax Regional Police officer and his wife want a full investigation after the couple say they were pulled over at gunpoint by RCMP officers earlier this month.

Dean Simmonds, a 20-year police officer with HRP, and his wife Angela Simmonds, a lawyer, say they were driving from their home in North Preston to get groceries around 12:30 p.m. on July 4, when they were pulled over by two RCMP vehicles.

“One police officer ordered Dean out of the vehicle with his hands up, while the other officer was outside his police vehicle pointing a C8 carbine rifle in Dean’s direction,” says a release issued by African Nova Scotian Decade for People of African Descent Coalition Friday afternoon.

After several minutes, Dean Simmonds says he was able to explain to the officers who he was. The RCMP officers told the couple there had been a report of a shooting in North Preston.

The couple alleges officers did not explain if they fit a description of the alleged perpetrators.

The release says the experience was “traumatic for the couple who feared for their lives.”

The Simmonds say they immediately thought of their two adult sons and what might have happened to them in the same situation.

“The interaction with RCMP police officers provides yet another example of the way Black people continue to be subjected to inhumane treatment and are regarded as dangerous, dishonest, guilty, criminals,” said Angela Simmonds.

The couple says it is a “brutal reminder” of the broader problem of systemic racism within the RCMP and that it further erodes the trust between police and Black communities in Nova Scotia.

The Simmonds say they plan to file a complaint with the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission and want a full investigation into the incident.

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