Montreal Metro Security Think They Are Policemen

I was in the metro some years ago when I heard loud voices and children backing away from metro security.  Three very large white french speaking males were accusing three very small and very young black girls of illegally using an adult bus pass and using it more than once for more than one person which is illegal.  Myself and my wife (who is white) watched from the sidelines as the situation escalated out of control.  Both sides were screaming at the top of the scale now and with the language barrier I do not think anyone was getting their point across.  It was at this point that the guards grabbed the girls and tried to arrest them.  They were trying to drag the girls from what I could gather to a closed off room used for interrogation purposes and as a holding cell.  The girls began to panic and demanded their mother be called and the police and to have a female metro person in the room or they were not going into the room with grown men alone.  The metro security guards redoubled their efforts to haul the girls into the room.

The girls managed to pull free of them. Now a crowd was trying to stop the metro security guards from continuing this farce and endangering these girls who were now blindly running down the stairs with them in hot pursuit.  The chance of them tripping  and falling onto the tracks was getting very real.  The metro security guards finally grabbed these little girls and forced them into a room where they could be heard threatening them saying now you will do as you as you are told. We have you now.  The girls could be heard yelling keep your hands off of us and we want our mothers.

People were now calling 911 on behalf of the girls and no one would leave the outside of the door where the girls were being held.  We banged on the doors until the police came so that the girls and the guards would know that someone was hearing everything.  The police did come and were not happy that minor girls were being held without a female by these men.  The police talked to us the crowd and told us that the girls were all right and that as soon as their parents came they would be going home.  Some of us remained outside of the door until the children’s parents came.  They thanked us and took our names in case they needed a witness to the events.  We were never called so I guess the whole matter was settled privately.

My brother who is now close to 60 years old just recently was detained and roughed up by metro security guards returning home after a hard nights work.  As he entered the metro he realized along with a group of  people who were also entering the metro that the guy in the ticket booth must have went on a break, but as is customary left the greenlight to enter on signalling it was ok to pass.  Three or more metro security guards were standing there watching everyone entering without paying and decided to intervene.  They asked everyone to stop and wait to pay. When the people tried to explain that no one was in the booth and the light to pass was on the metro cops got rough.

They were herded into a room and pushed around.  The security guards forced each person to declare if they had a pass that could have been swiped.  When the supervisor came onto the scene he was worse than his subordinates and actually physically threw my brother out into the street shoving him in the face telling him to go home or else.  They were each given $600 tickets for various metro rule violations.  All of the people involved have instituted a joint suit against the metro, the city of Montreal and the offending metro policemen.

I understand the need for security in the metro, but this type of strong-arm behavior is becoming more and more the norm.  These metro security guards really think that they are real policemen. They strut around often looking for trouble, or a chance to prove how tough they are.  Here is happened to a girl going to mcgill University when she was confronted by metro security.


Racism beyond the Roddick Gates

By Marguerite Bravay
Published: 11/30/09

In late March of this year, 23-year-old McGill student Jackie Jones was apprehended by five Société de transport de Montréal (STM) security guards just after entering Peel metro station. The guards approached Jones, who is black, while she was standing at the top of the escalators with a Hispanic male friend of hers. They asked her in French to move out of their way. They became agitated when she asked them to repeat themselves in English.“They said ‘Move now!’ and it was a bit aggressive. I listened and was going to move on, but I told them that there is no need for the aggression. At this point they asked for my ID and were going to give me a ticket,” Jones told The Daily (“McGill student victim of racial profiling,” News, October 26). “When I started to question them about why I was receiving a ticket, one of the guards grabbed my arm and twisted it to my back. They called for three more male security guards, who slammed me onto the ground and handcuffed me.” Upon finding her McGill student card in her purse, the STM guards released Jones almost immediately. She subsequently sought assistance from the Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR) and filed a racial profiling complaint seeking $45,000 in moral and punitive damages with the Quebec Human Rights Commission. In August, Jones was charged for obstructing the work of civil servants, and fined $100. The preliminary hearing of her case was held Wednesday morning at Montreal’s municipal court. Now that the legal proceedings have begun, the impact of racial profiling on the McGill and Montreal communities is brought back into focus. While the McGill bubble is often seen as a safe haven, students have a different view of the rest of Montreal. One black student, who wished to remain anonymous, said that she had never experienced racial profiling or any other form of discrimination at McGill, though she explained that “it could definitely happen [in Montral]”.“[McGill’s level of tolerance] can be chalked up to an issue of education,” said Melissa Li, a U1 Pharmacology student. “Lack of education entails closed-mindedness, which leads to discrimination and [here at McGill] people are fairly open to differences.” Li, who takes the metro every day, told The Daily about another incident of racial profiling she witnessed at Peel station over the summer: “The metro was stalled [at Peel] and there was a homeless black man sleeping on the car. All of a sudden, two intimidating-looking security guards stepped aboard and just sandwiched the man between them, before brutally dragging him onto the platform.” Indeed, the STM’s rough treatment of minorities has concerned CRARR workers for some time now. “We tend to see cases where STM inspectors overreact, fine and arrest or detain people…because [of] their race,” said Adrienne Gibson, a civil rights advocate at CRARR and McGill Faculty of Law graduate. “[Their] use of force can be excessive and unwarranted.” She added that that many young people and minorities don’t speak up against the STM, “because they are not aware of their civil rights.”“In some cases, the STM [discourages] people from complaining, telling them they don’t have a good case,” she elaborated.Gibson urged all students to stand up for their rights, like Jackie Jones did: “If you feel you’ve been racially profiled or discriminated [against], make a complaint…. Too many people think that what happens to them is an isolated case.” Ultimately, Gibson reminded the McGill community that “there is strength in numbers.”—with files from Stephanie Law


Racial profiling might not affect us at McGill, but it’s very real in the rest of the city.
In the past they would have been singled out in groups of one or two by gangs and made to see the error of their ways.  This has not happened in a long time and I am not a supporter of  these methods, but these types of heavy-handed tactics and incidences could trigger a resurgence of the old methods.  Metros are very deep and often metro workers are vulnerable.  Respect for the law must happen from both sides to avoid needless violence and confrontation.

No one is saying do not do your job.  They are simply saying be fair and stop using excessive force. Realize that you are not police; you are just security.

About archemdis

I try to say what is on my mind and not hurt others, but some things need to be said whether they hurt or not and I do just that. I try to listen as well as talk, but my opinion is just that mine. You need not take it as your own, just respect the fact that I am entitled to it, as you are yours. I do read all comments, but will only answer, or allow to be displayed those which adress me by name, refer to the post by name in the comment, or that have been sent through the proper channels. In this manner I can tell whether the comment was meant for me and that it is not just spam.
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20 Responses to Montreal Metro Security Think They Are Policemen

  1. Anthony says:

    STM transit systheme dont have any “security guards” they have inspectors. The stm inspector are Constable and they have all the same powers as police officers ( arrest, issue fines etc etc) of cource is the girl was stopped and she tried to leave tey gonna arrest her! Same thing on the street! If you get pulled over by the SQ on the highway and you try to run them off! You gonna get arrested! People should know that. So stm inspector are not police offiers yes but they have all the same power and they are Pease officers! People should know that cuz it will saves them alot of problem!

    • archemdis says:

      I know what they have the question is why and is it right. I don’t know harrassiung the elderly for proof of payment is a little much for me. Maybe this is what society has come to, but I for one do not see it as a right and just thing. Have a great day

  2. Tony says:

    here a video of the metro guards. it’s kinda pathetic because all they do is verify tickets. they are dressed like cops lol what is the point. seriously arc i really enjoy this article of yours.

    • archemdis says:

      This whole verification thing bothers me, if you see a person not paying, or get a report of a guy in that jacket not paying that is one thing check the guys with that type of jacket, but to arbitrarily demand it of any an all passengers is to me wrong. these guys are down there swaggering and looking for trouble and one day they are going to find it. When you start pushing decent hard working people around who haven’t done anything they will push back and they will be believed. Thanks again Tony and have a great day!!!

  3. Tony says:

    here an interesting video of the montreal metro cops. if you watch the whole video they make fun of the metro guards:

    • archemdis says:

      Thanks Tony these videos do help to make the case that the want to be police persons. I think that they add to the confusion down there and their attitude turns people off. Why the need to bother people for proopf of passage at this point is beyond me. It accuses the rider of wrong doing first of all and secondly does nothing to stop crime in the metro, at least the violent crime that the rider would be afraid of.

  4. MJ says:

    When I was 13, my friends and I were getting on the metro, my friend had some stickers on his bus pass. The ticket guy claimed we were trying to ”fraud” them (no idea what he was talking about) he then called my friend a Spic, and we got hauled in (without our parents being called) to separate rooms.
    They kept us their for a full 45 minutes without calling our parents.

    • archemdis says:

      This is what I am talking about they are so bad when it come to pushing people around. Thank you for sharing your story it helps other people to see that it is not only me. Have a great night!

  5. Tony says:

    My bad I made a mistake. The montreal metro is ridiculous. I looked at the stm site and they still do have metro security guards. What a waste of money because what is the point of having metro security guards and montreal police officers patrolling together when the guards only have a night stick? Now I understand your article. They are jealous. In my opinion they should get rid of the guards since the officers are better trained to protect.

    • Tony says:

      Here the difference between the 2. Ridiculous

      The Section métro de Montréal officers should not be confused with the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) surveillance agents: the former are SPVM officers and the latter are security agents hired by the STM. They each have their own important but complementary role to play, and each answers to a different authority and functions through a different system.

      • archemdis says:

        Tony I went back the site myself and checked because anyone can make a mistake. I did learn something new from you though. I thought that the metro security were totally phased out by now and I too was wrong. Thank you for teaching me something I did not know until talking and sharing information with you.

    • archemdis says:

      Thank you it takes a big person to admit when they are wrong. Tony I do agree with you and it is confusing to know who you are really dealing with down there and that is at least half of the problem. I think that at least with the cops they are trained. I can do without the swaggering metro security guards myself. Sorry if I got a little rough; it is a sore spot for me. Have a good day and thank you for commenting furthur.

  6. Tony says:

    I don’t understand what are you are talking about. This article makes no sense because the montreal metro security are police officers. here the proof:

    Since 2007 the montreal police have taken over the metro. the metro security guards no longer exist so I don’t understand why you are talking about them when the police have taken over the metro?

    • archemdis says:

      Hello Tony,
      In 2007 they took 40 metro guards who did not have the stuff to be gun toting policemen before this supposedly money saving idea, gave them what consisted of a quick run through and gave them a badge and sent them back into the metros as a task force. They are strutting their stuff swaggering and harrassing people with their new found power, but police they are not. Saying it is so does not make it so in this case, because the training and the mind set is wrong. Might as well make the shop lifting detectives in our department stores policemen and give the mall cop a gun; hell you can call the bad guys Robbin of The Hood and his Merry Men, but it will not make those 40 security guards cops and the bad guys heroes. Who cares if they graduated from the police academy, did any social working studies, took any psyche courses? Who cares if they are the same corrupt racist 40, who caused most of the problems in the 1st place. Is all that it takes to be a cop a few hours learning to fire a gun, a badge and a uniform. Oh I think I made perfect sense, you just were not listening. Have a great day, but do you really feel safer?

      Google this and watch the video – a href=”http://Are the metro security guards worthwhile?”>Are the metro security guards worthwhile?

  7. Paul says:

    The top story makes it sound like the 3 young girls are innocent.
    Aren’t they cheating the system by using 1 pass for the 3 people. Isn’t it stealing? And if they are stealing why are they arguing. What good argument can they possibly have. I don’t know about you but why don’t these kids respect police officer or a representative of the law. In what other country or province other than Quebec do you ever see someone yelling at someone in uniform. Why don’t you go to the USA and try telling of a police officer. You don’t even have to go to far just go to ontario and see what happens to you.
    So because it’s 3 girls trying to get away from a ticket and lawful arrest it makes it ok. Now girls can’t get arrested by men anymore is that what you are trying to say.
    Why don’t you put yourself in the officers shoes. You catch 3 girls stealing the system. You stop them and all you want is to give them a ticket so that they learn there lesson. 3 girls scream there heads off and now you the officer get surrounded by other users who you don’t know touching you and trying to stop you from doing your job. Someone can easily just stab you in the back or hit you over the head with any device. So what do you do let the 3 girls get away with crime because they are girls and black. I guess white officers can’t arrest black women anymore. You should run for president buddy. And for your brother, he’s also a stealer. So if you go to the corner store to buy milk or even 50 cent candy and that there is no clerk to charge you it makes it ok to leave without paying because there is no one there. And maybe next time you brother doesn’t pay his metro tell him to cooperate instead of being an asshole. I’ll give you some advice, invite your brother and family over and watch the chris rock How not to get your ass kicked by a police officer.

    • archemdis says:

      Paul, I guess I know what and who you are I have heard your type before all full of righteous indignation until the boot is on your neck, or you get a traffic ticket you think you do not deserve. I did not say they were innocent, or that they deserved to get away with anything. Are you one of those good old boys that can’t read? I asked whether the price of a ticket was worth chasing 3 little girls onto the track, or causing a fatal accident. I think that respect is a two way street that obviously from your statements you have not yet walked. Have I offended you with my story, well if so that is just too bad, I hold to my opinion? Are you security at a metro station, or maybe a door man at some apartment building and people show you no respect, or have you always wanted to be in law enforcement, but did not have the right stuff? In Quebec and Canada as far as I know metro security are not cops? These actions by these want to be cops, is why they get attacked and no one respects them. As for my brother he works very hard and is not an asshole I think by your reaction and conversation that you have the market cornered on that name. I said the light was green indicating that he and those wishing to enter could so . They were allowed to pass because he was not at his post and he had released the barrier. This is done often when the person is not in the booth, so that the lines do not get too long and people are not being held up and being made late for work etc.. Do you even take the metro? I repeat legally they were allowed to pass. Again by your comments you show a disturbing inability to not comprehend what you read, or that you skim the page in your haste to write you nasty little remarks.
      I could hope that what you wish for others is visited on you 10 fold and that your sense of justice gets meted out on your family, but that would make me too much like you and that is truly not what I desire.
      Get your facts straight next time and maybe we could have an intelligent conversation. Change your tone and maybe you would not come across like and the bigot that I hope that you are not. Try reading the entire story next time before you comment and maybe your comments will fit what was actually written in the post. Try talking when you write someone and not screaming at them and maybe your point will be heard. I could say it has been nice talking to you, but that would be a lie. Good night to you Paul and if you do not write me again I will not be offended.

  8. George says:

    Sorry I miss understood what you were trying to say in your stories. Some metro guards are good and some are not but I guess it’s like that with every job like with cops for example. Again I apologize. I got lucky that I almost got robbed at Berri because most of the time the guards stay at Berri or else forget it I would have probably been stabbed or beating up.

    • archemdis says:

      Dear George, no problem and no need to apologize. I find the metro a dangerous place and also wish that there was more of a real sense of security. I guess I speak from a sense of frustration with the system at times is all. A woman I was married to once had an uncle who was a metro security guard. When I met him for the first time him he was on suspension for using the big “N” word when dealing with some black children. He was very angry and bitter and could not see why he would get suspended for just doing his job. When I said he should not have used the word he said he was just mad and what was the big deal. It was at this point I think I started to take a closer look at the system and what people accept as normal behavior. I think as you there are good and bad in everything, but we need to remove the rotten apples before they ruin the whole basket. I will be talking about the gangs that have taken over our streets and metros very soon. Bad is bad and I want them all gone so people like us can feel safe and enjoy our lives. Have a great day and God bless you.

  9. George says:

    they are there to serve and protect. they saved me my life. 3 people tried to mug me and they were there to save me so don’t say that they are useless. i respect them 100%

    • archemdis says:

      Dear George, glad they were there for you, but does that rule out all of the rest of the things I talked about?
      No one said they were useless in fact I said they go over board on certain things and that they have a tendancy to use heavy handedness. Again I am glad to hear a positive story about metro security and to show you I have an open mind I will post it for all to see. Have a great day George and I hope you never have to experience being robbed again, but I hope that your mind can be opened to the fact that you are the minority and that the people complaining of abuses are increasing minute by minute. A little surprised that you did not comment on the racism or any of the other stuff. I will leave you with this thought George, “It only takes one bad act to wipe out a life time of good deeds.” God bless you and the metro security that do a very difficult job and a special thanks to those who do it properly.

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