Photo cred - media.darpanmagazine.com
Police officers are meant to keep people safe, except sometimes, they lash out at citizens instead of protecting them. Montreal has seen its fair share of police brutality, from big moments like protests, to smaller and equally frightening moments involving parking tickets and homeless people in the cold. Montreal police have gained a scary rep, but don't be too afraid, because the law is still (kinda) on your side.
Taking info from The Gazette piece on the same issue, the CBC, and Quebec's Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, we've compiled what you should know, and what you shouldn't do, if and when you're being arrested in Montreal. Follow these, act smart, and you'll be outta cuffs in no time.
- First off, the police have an obligation to say what you're being charged with
- You have the right to be told the grounds of your arrest in a language you understand. That's right Anglophones.
- You are never obliged to answer any police questions, even when being arrested.
- If you're being given a ticket, you do need to give your name + address.
- You have the right to deny the search of your personal belongings. Note, this could piss an officer off.
- Do not lie, refuse to give identification, or resist arrest. You can be charged with obstruction of justice.
- As long as you stay out of an officer's way, taking photos and videos is entirely legal. No officer is allowed to take your phone/recorder, nor can you be forced to delete any image or video file.
- If arrested, you are entitled to legal counsel, and the police have to facilitate that
- Anyone arrested has the immediate right to inform their family.
- And the classic: Every accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law
Those are your tips and tricks for when arrested, and definitely keep them in mind, because not all police officers follow the mandate that: "Every person arrested or detained must be treated with humanity and with the respect due to the human person."For more on everything Montreal, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte