2019-03-16 by W.M.
Two arrested in Montreal’s annual police brutality protests
Published Friday, March 15, 2019 6:16PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, March 15, 2019 9:59PM EDT
Two people were arrested Friday night during the annual police brutality protest in downtown Montreal.
One person was arrested on charges of mischief and another for uttering threats as protesters and police clashed on the streets.
There were no injuries to officers of civilians, adding that there were multiple cases of vandalism, according to Montreal police spokesperson Sgt. Det. Emmanuel Anglade.
The annual event started at 6 p.m. Friday with speeches at Norman Bethune Square, at the corner of Guy St. and de Maisonneuve Blvd., before participants set off on a march.
A few hundred activists rallied against cases where they say police officers use excessive force, in particular against marginalized individuals and communities.
They also say they are seeking justice in the case of Nicholas Gibbs, who was fatally shot by Montreal police in August. BEI investigators determined that officers clearly violated regulations in that and other altercations.
Shortly after the event began, firecrackers were set off and the glass doors of banks in the downtown area were shattered. Police tweeted that they observed illegal activity and ordered participants to follow the law.
By 7:30 p.m., police said protesters’ “illegal behaviours” were putting “public safety and order at risk.” They ordered the protesters to disperse immediately as the air became think from a smoke bomb that had been set off.
Police ordered everyone to disperse immediately and avoid the area around Crescent St., de Maisonneuve, McGill College Ave. and Rene-Levesque Blvd.
At last year’s anti-police brutality rally, four people were injured and three were arrested as police in riot gear used tear gas and pepper spray to push back crowds of 200 to 300 people. The windows of at least one business were smashed. Projectiles, including firecrackers, were also launched.