Montreal police officers accused of kidnapping, dumping homeless man
Published Thursday, May 24, 2018 8:21AM EDT
Two Montreal police officers are facing charges in an incident in which they allegedly kidnapped a homeless man and dumped him in a remote area.
The incident allegedly occurred more than eight years ago, and that’s leaving many wondering why it took so long for charges to be laid.
Officers Patrick Guay and Pierre-Luc Furlotte are accused of ordering a homeless man into their police cruiser and then driving him out the downtown area to a remote location where they forced him out of the car.
The officers now face several charges, including forcible confinement, assault, and uttering threats, and have been suspended with pay. None of the allegations have been proven in court.
Montreal police spokesperson Ian Lafreniere told CTV Montreal Wednesday that while the force’s internal affairs department conducted an investigation immediately after the incident, no charges were laid.
“There was a previous investigation. The first investigation was conducted, but as you know, last fall, all the internal affairs file were transferred to a special squad,” he said.
That squad, made up of members of the Surete du Quebec, RCMP, and other police services, is reviewing all internal affairs complaints involving Montreal police. They reassessed the incident file in this case and found that it appears that the officers did not act ethically towards the homeless man.
Both officers were arrested Wednesday and taken into custody before being released on the promise to appear in court at a later date.
Relations between Montreal police and the city’s homeless population have been tense for a long time, but worsened in January 2017, when a homeless man named Jimmy Cloutier was shot and killed by police outside the Old Brewery Mission after he allegedly brandished a weapon.
Since then, staff at the mission has been working closely with police to improve training, says its director Matthew Pearce.
“I demanded a meeting with the police chief and laid out a set of action steps that we feel will transform the culture of police relations with the homeless population,” he told CTV Montreal.
But while steps are being taken to improve police training, Pearce is wondering why it took so long for the officers to be arrested in the alleged assault of 2010.
“Didn’t it shock somebody eight years ago? Didn’t it surprise people eight years ago? Didn’t somebody in the SPVM eight years ago say, ‘We will not tolerate this and it does not represent what we think,’?” he said.
With a report from CTV Montreal’s Amanda Kline