Help, not bullets! Vigil against police killings and impunity

Date de l'événement: 

25 February 2012

Saturday Febuary 25th 3PM at Place Valois
(corner of Ontario and Valois, Joliette metro)

On thursday Febuary 16th, Jean-François Nadreau was killed by a Montreal police officer in an appartment on Nicolet street. His girlfriend had called 911 because he was in crisis. Instead of help, it is death that was given to him by the police. Nadreau joins the too long list of more than 60 people who lost their lives during police interventions in Montreal since 1987.

Like Jean-François Nadreau, Farshad Mohammadi, Mario Hamel, Michel Berniquez and Michel Morin, to name just a few, were all killed by policemen while they were in crisis. It is because, like the president of the Montreal police brotherhood Yves Francoeur said, the job of the police is repression. The cops are trained to kill, not to help people. Their work tools are shakles, batons, pepper spray and guns. For them, a person who is in crisis is not someone who needs help, it is a threat. They do what they were trained to do: take people’s lives under the pretense of saving theirs.

To justify their killings, the police invented a theory according to which suicidal people want to get killed by police and they do everything so that it happens. They would almost like us to thank them for giving us that “service” by killing people who call for help. This way of thinking clearly shows that they are not the right people to intervene in this kind of situation. The goal should be to avoid death, not to cause it.

Once again, the investigation on this police murder was given to some cops. Be it the SQ or any other cops, we know that they will do everything to protect their collegues of the Montreal police and to avoid any consequence for them. The day before Nadreau’s death, a study by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police proved that cops “hesitate” before denouncing the crimes committed by their collegues. But the Charest government wants to reassure us with their bill C-46 that would create an office of civilians that would “watch” the investigations on police killings that would still be made by cops.

The Quebec minister of Public safety, Robert Dutil, tried to fool us and said that “All over Quebec, we don’t feel police violence”. Go tell that to the people who died from it, to those who experience abuse everyday, to homeless people getting kicked out of the metros and from down-town, to people of colour who always get harassed, to students and other demonstrators who get pepper sprayed and beaten by police for nothing...

Let’s not wait for the result of the bullshit investigation of the SQ to react, nor for yet another coroner’s public inquiry. We are told that the autorities will settle everything, but besides giving more Tasers to the Montreal police (a weapon that caused more that 700 deaths in North America), nothing was put in place to stop police killings and impunity since the death of Mario Hamel and Patrick Limoges last summer.

Police officers protect themselves, the police protects the government and the government makes sure that the police can continue to do what they want without ever having to answer for their abuses. Let’s not expect anything from them and stop asking them for help: they are way too busy, politicians stealing money from the people and the police protecting themselves.

Our solidarity and struggle are our only weapons to defend ourselves from their abuses.