** The opinons expressed in this video DO NOT reflect those of MTL.911 Emergency Photography in any way. We continually thank our law enforcement for their hard work and dedication to keep the city safe. **
THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 2018 – At 19:30 hours (EST), demonstrators gathered at Lafontaine Park in the Plateau Mont-Royal district of Montréal, QC to participate in the city’s 22nd annual protest against police brutality organized by the COBP (Collective Opposed to Police Brutality). Shadowed by a large police presence, the demonstrators recited several speeches which outlined their principal beliefs and their collective goals before they hurriedly departed on their non-scheduled march throughout city streets. They headed northeast on Rachel Street and began chanting phrases such as “Everybody hates the police!”, “This is what democracy looks like!” and “No justice, no peace, f**k the police!” while police officers scrambled to clear the streets ahead. The protesters turned southeast on Papineau Avenue and headed straight for the headquarters of TVA, a prominent French language television network in the province of Québec. The SPVM (Service de police de la Ville de Montréal)’s Intervention Group was already protecting the front of TVA’s building when the protest eventually passed by, many shouting “F**k TVA!”. The protesters made their way to busy Sainte-Catherine Street and began marching southbound. This is where multiple protesters began vandalizing storefronts, restaurants and even a Laurentian Bank of Canada branch. Reacting to the vandalism, the police declared the protest illegal, citing that certain protesters were exhibiting illegal behaviours and that if the protesters did not disperse from the area, they would have to intervene to maintain public order and safety (also, no predetermined schedule or route had been filed by the Collective with the police service). Protesters then fired several explosive devices (likely fireworks) at Intervention Group officers who were following the march from behind, some of which can be briefly seen at the 18:40 minute mark, sparking a tense change in police tactics. GI officers ahead of the demonstrators held positions on side streets and charged at the protesters, dispersing them toward René-Lévesque Boulevard. Shortly after this physical confrontation, the protest broke apart, with the SPVM confirming a short time later that it had been terminated.
According to the SPVM in a Twitter post, their preliminary report consisted of “several mischiefs, 3 arrests (armed attack, assault), 3 tickets and 3 officers were injured slightly. A citizen sustained an injury to the head when he received a projectile thrown by a demonstrator.” The citizen was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Footage was taken on March 15, 2018.
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