A little while ago I wrote about the heavy police presence at the Cara Fest/Jump Up and how I thought Black people need a change of attitude when it comes to standing up and being willing to defend Black criminals, just because they are Black, but there is always another side to any issue and no one is completely innocent and this applies to the Montreal police force as well. It always amuses me to hear our government on all levels talk about what their priority as a government is, because they always make the claim that keeping Canadian citizens safe is their priority. I say amused, because I believe that the greatest single threat to the everyday hard-working, law-abiding citizens of Canada, is not some Islamic Jihadi threat, but the way Canadian police forces and other government controlled agencies are trained and conditioned to respond to Canadian citizens, when approaching, or interacting with them.
Let us begin by dispelling the myth that the police force came into being and exists today to provide assistance to those in need, or to protect the citizenry residing within its territorial jurisdiction. The police’s primary function is to uphold the law of the land and protect those who pay their salaries.
This very moment in Montreal the police will come to your house if it is broken into and take a report, but unless you are of some import, or were injured during the commission of the crime, they will not send any detectives to take pictures of the crime scene, or dust for finger print, which means that they will not be actively trying find out who robbed your house. Imagine now that it is the mayor’s house, or City Hall that got broken into; can you see the squad cars, the swarming of detectives going door to door asking questions and forensic experts looking for the minutest clues and promising to work tirelessly until the perpetrator was brought to justice?
Most Canadians are under the misguided impression that as long as they act within the laws of Canada, the province, or their municipality that they cannot, should not and will not be arrested, charged and tried for acting upon any of the rights guaranteed to them in the Canadian Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. These false beliefs unfortunately have resulted in many a cracked skulls, arrests and prosecutions of many a law-abiding , “peaceful protestors” in Montreal, the city I have lived in for the better part of 60 years.
First of all let us consider who the police force is really serve and protect, because it is not you and me. By that I mean the police in Canada are used to protect and serve the local government that signs their pay checks; be it a township, municipality, or province. Their primary function of any police force is and has always been to maintain order, to keep the local population in line and if necessary protect the government from those who elected them into office by any means necessary. This always means following orders without question, even if it means violating the constitutional rights of citizens they(the police) are facing across a picket line. Ask yourself who the government orders to shut down peaceful, lawful protests and why do the police comply, if it you that is their priority to protect and serve the citizenry of their community?
An example of what I am talking about was the role the Montreal police force played in the forced shutting down and eviction of the peaceful protest called, “Occupy Montreal” and the peaceful demonstrators. This peaceful protest situated in Montreal’s financial district a few years ago, was one protest being carried out by protestors all over the world and Canada simultaneously against the 1% of the world’s population who control the world’s wealth. The municipal government despite the fact that the sit in remained peaceful and orderly decided that it wished an embarrassing situation for them to end and used the police of Montreal to evict the peaceful protesters from a public square/park under the pretext that the protestors were in violation of a city bylaw. It became clear that the city would not allow the protest to continue as it refused to give the protest a permit that would authorize Occupy Montreal to use the public space it was occupying. The police moved in and protected city workers as the laughingly threw the processions into garbage trucks, because that is what they are paid to do (protect the government that pays them, from those who would do it harm). Governments have always and still do see protestors against their action, or inaction as enemies of government and as a threat to law and order and to the government, to be put down in any fashion deemed necessary.
I talk about the police of Montreal, because this is where I live and these are the police who I have interacted with all of my life; not because they are the only police force in Canada guilty of such actions. It is however my sincere belief that the police of Montreal not only want to be feared by the citizens they pretend to be protecting, but do everything that they can to ensure that they will be feared, and that often has them breaking the law. The police get away with this lack of respect for the law they are charged with upholding and get away with violating the law even when it comes to the torture, or murder of unarmed citizens, because they police themselves feel that they are above the laws of Canada and have been supported in this belief by those in charge of their conduct such as their day-to-day commanders, chief of police and the government s they are acting on the behalf of.
The police force in Montreal polices itself. When an ordinary citizen accuses a police officer of anything the matter is brought before the police internal body of investigations that is made up entirely of police, who have been trained in the same manner as all police to view all citizens as potential threats until it is proved otherwise. Only the police union which is representative of the police body, senior officer’s such as chiefs and commanders and bureaucrats like police commissioners get to decide if their members have indeed violated the law, or broken any rules, but since it is most likely that these senior officers and politically appointed bureaucrats are the one’s responsible for sending the beat cop in how likely is it that they are going to find fault in the actions they themselves ordered? I would suggest as history has shown not often, no matter how serious the violation is, the police are almost never charged with a crime, rarely get found guilty and almost never go to jail, or get fired. It has been shown that police who violate the law usually get a slap of the wrist, like being suspended with pay for what are considered minor infractions, or are transferred out of their immediate area to a borough of the city where they are not known, for the more serious infractions, like the unjustified killing, or witnessed unjustified beating of a suspect.
The police of Montreal as far as I am concerned have always been trained to believe that the citizens residing in their jurisdiction are the enemy. This means that when police officers were interacting with the public they see and react to each and every situation like they are behind the lines in hostile enemy territory. If the Montreal police are looking at and treating the people they are supposedly paid to protect and serve as the enemy, why would those people look at them any differently? To understand any police forces primary function and purpose is to understand why it police officers are trained to see you as the enemy and why you should not place too high certainty that the rights that you are guaranteed as a Canadian citizen that can be found written in the Canadian Constitution, or Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms are worth the paper they are written on when the police are sent by the government to shut you up or shut you down. Thinking the right way and knowing who the police truly serve and protect above all others, could save your life one day.