When I stopped getting in trouble with the law I thought that I would be happy to see the police when I went to work, or walked along the street late at night and that my fear of them only came from the fact that I was in the wrong thing and they were just doing their job, but this is not the case. My fear of them is a self-preservation mechanism clicking in. The police of Montreal are trained to believe that the citizens it is paid to protect are the enemy and when interacting with the public they must see and react to each and every situation like we are the enemy. If they are looking at me like the enemy why would I look at them any differently? It explains a lot and why they get out of their cars with their guns drawn no mater what the situation.
My story and the reason I fear but do not respect The Police of Montreal
I remember walking along the street on St Jacques Street and Richmond Street in broad day light on my way home from a visit at my cousin’s house on the corner of George Vanier Street and Notre Dame Street in and area known Little Burgundy, when I got the distinct feeling that I was being followed. I walked on and as I neared the intersection a car pulled up beside me and asked me if I knew where another street was and I said no I did not know and continued walking. Inside the car was a white male and a white female and I knew right away that something was not right. White people not from the area do not stop and ask directions in Little Burgundy of black people. White people with no reason to be in little Burgundy try to drive through and usually only stop at street lights because they have no choice.
At any rate just as I am getting ready to cross the intersection the car pulls up onto the curb blocking my way and the male who was driving jumps out and runs towards me. I move fast to avoid being run over which puts the car effectively between me and him. This guy grabs me by my shoulder from behind and as he does so I flip him over my shoulder holding onto his arm and get my self positioned on his chest with fist raised ready to punch his lights out. I am a good street fighter and I know that the place to be in a fight is on the top of your opponent and if what happened next did not happen this policeman would have ended up in an emergency room in some hospital sipping his meals out of a straw for a long time. As I get ready to land the first blow I hear the click of a gun hammer being pulled back and a gun being made ready to fire and I freeze, everything freezes and for a minute we are all locked in time.
I do not get off of the male, but I do hold my hand ready to strike if he should try to free himself. It is at this time that the female officer identifies her and her partner as police officers and orders me to get off of him and let him up. As I turn back to him he flashes his shield and tries to get up, but I am mad and hold him where he is. As I look back at the female officer I noticed that she is shaking so badly that the gun is moving up and down and that if she is not careful she could fire out of fear. It is at this point that I get off of her partner and he decides to get rough with me for embarrassing him with the take down.
This policeman throws me against the car and proceeds to do his search of my person in a very rough manner and tell me how he is going to take me to the station and teach me a lesson. I tell him that I am not going anywhere with him and that he should have identified himself as a police officer before he touched me and maybe things would not have gone the way they did. It is a at this time that his partner tells him that I am not the guy they are looking for, but the male police officer is having none of it and insists that I be arrested. Again I tell him that I am not going any place with him and again his partner tells him he has got the wrong person and they made a big mistake, but again he insist he wants me to go to the station.
It is not until he looks up and sees all of the people on their balconies that he finally decides to let me go on my way. No apology, no report, just a bad attitude. They could have been badly hurt and I could have been killed and it all could have been avoided if they had only identified themselves, or simply followed the law when it come to stopping and searching someone. There was also over 70 people witnessing this police actions and taking from it that the police do what they want and learning that they can not count on the police for justice and fairness. They learned that day to fear the police not respect them. I am just one near death experience that the police instigated with their heavy handed tactics, but I am one of the few survivors of this type of police brutality and aggression.
There is a new police chief now and he promises to take a different approach when dealing with the public, but I will have to wait and see. Old habits die-hard and it will take an independent oversight board to make the police accountable for their actions. As long as they are allowed to investigate allegations of wrong doing by themselves The Brotherhood Of Policemen will remain the corrupt, violently abusive police force that it is right now. The Brotherhood Of Policemen will continue to act out of fear and prejudice and innocent people on both sides will continue to get hurt and die. The police must stop being the gasoline poured on a fire and try to act more like water other wise their entering a situation only makes matters worse.
I think that I will continue to stay out of their way and try to be anywhere they are not until they can prove that they do not consider themselves above the law and that even when they do the legal system will correct them and protect us from them. I look forward to a time when justice does not mean, ” just for us”.