Quebec police are investigating two other violent arrests on film


Quebec police chief Denis Turcotte said Thursday his ministry was investigating two more violent arrests on film involving his officers, adding that an officer was involved in at least three separate incidents.

Quebec police chief Denis Turcotte said Thursday his ministry was investigating two more violent arrests on film involving his officers, adding that an officer was involved in at least three separate incidents.

City police forces began investigating a total of four separate violent arrests since last weekend, when video recorded early Saturday morning began circulating online of officers beating and dragging two black youths to outside a nightclub. This video led to the suspension this week of five officers.

Turcotte told reporters on Thursday that one of the five suspended police officers was involved in at least three of the four violent arrests under investigation. Turcotte said he remains confident in his strength.

“I reiterate my full confidence in my troops,” he said at a press conference. “They do essential work for our society. Our city is one of the safest cities in the world and it is thanks to you, dear colleagues.”

Turcotte said Thursday his department has opened a third internal investigation. This time, he said, the force was studying an Oct. 16 video that appeared to show a policeman pushing a man against a wall before the man fell to the ground and was handcuffed.

Turcotte said the department is also investigating a filmed incident in which a police officer is heard swearing at a man and threatening to spray him with pepper before pushing him aside.

Earlier this week, officials said the province’s police ethics commissioner opened independent investigations into two separate violent arrests that took place over the weekend, both of which were videotaped . A video shows the violent arrest of a man inside a restaurant in the Quebec City area on Friday. The other video shows officers violently arresting two black youths early Saturday morning.

Turcotte said the four incidents under investigation involve a specialized police squad patrolling bars around town. He said investigations will attempt to determine what happened before the events that were captured on video.

“We are investigating to find out what happened before this happened,” he said. “This is where we’ll see if it’s abusive or not.”

When asked about the allegations of racial profiling by Quebec police, Turcotte said he did not want to engage in a discussion about the definition of the term, but he said if people feel they have been arrested by police because of their race, they should report it. .

The Quebec police force includes racialized people, Turcotte said, but said the force had not had a black officer since the 1990s. This officer, he added, left the force. to work in the Montreal area. Turcotte said efforts were being made to diversify the city’s police service.

Maxim Fortin, the Quebec branch coordinator of the League of Rights and Freedoms, a civil liberties advocacy group, said the police service has two distinct but interrelated issues: systemic racism and disregard for citizens’ rights who do not obey the agents during the interventions.

“There is a problem with systemic racism, which results in racial profiling and eventually results in police brutality,” Fortin said in an interview Thursday. If this problem is not recognized, he said, it cannot be fixed.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on December 2, 2021.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of Facebook and the Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Jacob Serebrin, The Canadian Press


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