The video below was seen on Twitter nearly 500,000 times. An officer can be seen repeatedly hitting the man on the head and putting him in a chokehold.
Users on the internet thought the intervention might be related to the province’s new mandatory mask outdoors policy which imposes mask-wearing outside during “any outdoors activity”.
Westphalian Times contacted an SPVM spokesperson on Sunday who could not specify the reason for the intervention.
Westphalian Times tracked down a verifiable witness of the intervention and obtained Charlotte’s first-hand testimony:
“What we witnessed was the guy being chased by the cops but he was not taking it seriously he was skipping around and dancing as if they were playing tag. He was not even moving very fast but the cops on foot could not catch him. As he neared the bottom of the hill a cop on his bike driving downhill rammed into him at full speed and the guy flipped over, his sandals popped off.
Then like 5 cops all jumped onto him and began wrestling him to handcuff him. When the punching started a crowd started to converge on the cops shouting so a few got up to create a circle barrier around where the guy was getting arrested. It looked like they hog-tied him and then they just picked him up by his extremities and carried him away. […]
A guy then told us he witnessed the initial events that lead to the chase and what we were told is that he was walking with a beer and the cops stopped him, so he poured it out and I guess this aggravated the cops because that’s when they started to advance towards him, and he took off.
Everyone else in the park was drinking also but I guess because it is technically illegal to drink in public, they stopped him but everyone else was as well.”
Montreal city permits the drinking of alcoholic beverage in parks only when accompanied by a “full meal”.
Westphalian Times tracked down the target of the intervention. The day following his arrest, he posted a video of his bruised-up face on his Instagram.
The SPVM has still not answered our questions with regard to the intervention.
Residents of Montreal have been feeling increasingly unsafe with their police force, the SPVM. The SPVM has had no reserves in handing out some of the world’s most expensive fines for individuals breaking curfew, a hefty $1,550.
The police force has also been heavily surveilling parks and intervening in situations with questionable force.
More details will follow.