Police chief proud of officers' work during student protest: inquiry
Published Wednesday, September 25, 2013 7:43PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 26, 2013 7:31AM EDT
MONTREAL -- Montreal's police chief says he's very proud of the work his officers did during last year's student protests.
Chief Marc Parent made that comment repeatedly Wednesday at the Menard Commission into how the protests were handled.
Parent described the nightly protests as complex, historic and dangerous, pointing out that there were 71 injuries suffered by police officers, including concussions and injuries to the lower body when billiard balls were thrown.
He said his officers would often declare the protests illegal but allowed them to continue, believing it was the best way to maintain peace.
He admitted, however, that when protesters threw objects or insulted officers, some officers became agitated and acted in a less-than-perfect manner, adding that he felt it was hard not to get emotional under those conditions.
Parent was asked how much training the special 200-person crowd control squad received, and told the inquiry it was 10 days per year, which raised some eyebrows at the commission.
He was also asked about some complaints by detainees from the protests, including allegations they were deprived of bathrooms for several hours. Parent answered that sometimes it was due to a shortage of officers working a shift.
Overall, Parent said he feels his officers did better than police in most parts of the world.
“Yes, we saw a few moments where our officers were not working at the right level, but generally speaking, I’m very proud of the work of our police officers,” he said.
The hearing continues Thursday, when Surete du Quebec Director-General Mario Laprise will answer questions.