- An eyewitness sent footage to MTL Blog showing a forceful arrest by Montreal police using pepper spray.
- The police say the man was armed.
- The eyewitness decries what they view as an unnecessary use of force.
An incident involving the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) and an unidentified individual shocked passersby on rue St-Denis on September 1. An eyewitness video sent to MTL Blog shows a group of officers attempting to subdue the individual, who the police claim was carrying a weapon.
This article contains graphic content that might not be suitable for some readers. This article includes footage of a forceful police arrest.
We reached out to the SPVM and they said that while responding to a public disturbance call on the corner of rues St-Denis and Sainte-Catherine, they discovered an armed person who wasn't responsive to their demands.
The police then began to pepper spray the individual and forced them to the ground to arrest them. According to the SPVM, the individual was brought to the hospital after the incident. The police didn't clarify to MTL Blog whether or not their officers in the video followed standard procedure.
Our eyewitness video shows a large group of police officers surrounding the immediate area. The witness claims that 9 officers surrounded the individual and used pepper spray and force to bring them to the ground.
The video (seen below) was sent to MTL Blog shortly after the eyewitness recorded it.
The views expressed in text in the video are the eyewitness' own and do not reflect the opinions of MTL Blog.
As you can see, the suspect was surrounded by police officers who demanded that he drop what he was holding and to lay on the ground.
Most of the audio at the beginning is inaudible but it's clear that police were trying to negotiate with the suspect before escalating the situation. Three police cars and over five officers were dispatched to deal with the situation.
The individual doesn't comply with officers' requests. After a few demands, one officer pepper-sprayed the suspect and kicked them down, prompting surrounding eyewitnesses to cry out in protest.
The situation begins to intensify after the suspect was kicked to the ground by one police officer. One officer began to hit the suspect with his baton while another began to detain him.
In the ensuing struggle, four officers wrestled the individual to their stomach and arrested them.
Our eyewitness then cries out for the police to stop what they're doing and asks why they're being so rough.
Though unclear, one of the officers responds to the eyewitness recording the video and says what sounds like:
"C'est toi qui a menacé avec un couteaux?" (translation: "Was it you that threatened us with a knife?")
We'll bring you more updates on this developing story as they're released.