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Allegations of corruption, brutality, threats: Key findings from the report into Montreal police

Allegations of corruption, brutality, threats: Key findings from the report into Montreal police
From CBC - December 7, 2017

The report into the Montreal police service paints a troubling portrait of inner turmoiland calls for an end to the "climate of tension and suspicion that has developed" within the force.

Former deputy justice minister Michel Bouchard describes how several internal investigations into the conduct of police officers including allegations of corruption, brutality and threats were "botched."

The uncovering of what Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux calls a "systemic and very serious problem" at the heart of the force ultimately led to thesuspension of police Chief PhilippePicheton Wednesday.

Bouchard'sfindings arebased on the study of 1,005internal cases from 2010 to 2017. Pichetwas made chief in 2015.

Here are some of the key findings of the 98-page report.

Long delays in investigating allegations of threats

When it comes to internal investigations, the report found that several cases were subjected to lengthy delays often without any explanation.

In 2013, a civilian filed a complaint with the Suretdu Qubec, alleging that they received death threats from four Montreal police officers.

While the SQ informed the SPVM's internal affairs division and provided the contact information for the complainant, the file was only given to an investigator 16 months later in October 2014.

The file was deemed "inactive" a year later because the complainant was unreachable.

"The inexplicable delay to start the investigation clearly produced this result," concludes the report.

The report also cites another example from 2013, in which a complaint was filedagainst a police officer who allegedly threatened a civilian with charges for offences they never committed.

The complainant wascontacted nine months later by internal affairs and they refused to pursue the complaint, saying they had moved on to other things.

"Once again, the long delay to open this investigation is not explained and led to abandonment by the complainant," the report reads.

Promoted without being sanctioned

Bouchardalso found that when a higher up within the Montreal police was being looked into for possible links to organized crime in 2013, the investigation was "treated lightly."

The report found that the investigation was handled "in an exceptional fashion" becausea senior director was assigned to oversee the file, instead of an investigator.

The director who looked into the allegations repeatedly referred to the police officer by their first name only, which Bouchard suggests that there was a "friendly or familiar link" with the reader of the report.

The investigation was not nearly as fleshed out or documented compared to another similar case, according to Bouchard.

Close ties

Witnesses, complainants disregarded

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