|This Photoshop re-enactment shows how police|
aggressively went after three young people buying
pizza on Mountain St. Tuesday night
On Monday at about 11 p.m. two men and a woman, all in their mid-twenties, pulled up on Mountain just below St. Catherine.
The driver parked behind a police cruiser from Station 52 and went into a friendly pizza joint called Chez Dany, just below St. Cat.
The post-hockey crowds had dispersed but a significant group of police remained assembled at the spot.
The young woman stayed in the pickup to watch a dog, a Labrador Retriever, while the two men went to get the take-out pizza,
The three were presentable young people from relatively well-off backgrounds who had finished a long day of work, no radical appearance, no subversive tendency, no visible minority cultural misunderstandings.
The young woman wondered why so many police had congregated at that spot.
"I thought they were looking for a person and it had nothing to do with us," she told Coolopolis Tuesday.
"They were going up to people walking by, asking them stuff. It’s like they were really bored and wanted something to do. I’ve never seen cops do that for absolutely no reason."
A police officer asked her to roll down the window. She obliged. He asked what she was doing. She explained that she was waiting for food.
The officer walked away but returned a few seconds later and asked her to roll the window down again, whereupon he took out what appeared to be an iPhone, put it inside the window and pressed a button.
A beep came from the device and the officer accused her of smoking drugs in her car.
The young woman replied that she had done no such thing and that it wasn't even her car. But the officer came around to the other side and entered the vehicle from the driver's side and proceeded to search it.
The officer found several envelopes of cash, the day's receipts from the store that one of the young men operates. He hadn't gotten around to depositing the day's receipts in the bank yet.
The officer also found a tiny bit of hashish for personal consumption.
He accused the young man of being a drug dealer, cuffed both men and and proceeded to question them about the money.
While searching the vehicle, officers carelessly tossed computer equipment to the ground, as other police officers stood by chuckling, according to the young man.
The officer told the two men, "You're being arrested now for possession and distribution We are reading you your rights.."
The man said that other officers were also stopping other passersby, apparently at random.
"They started harassing everybody, going through their pockets. A car drove by and they ran his plate for no reason."
The officers kept telling the three that they would never be able to get into the US with a criminal record, so they'd never be able to get to Disneyland.
The police repeated the Disneyland motif several times throughout the ordeal.
(One might speculate that the references to the USA hints that the police were acting strangely because of the explosions in Boston earlier in the day.)
After a long time refusing to uncuff the men, the officers eventually decided to release them without charge, as there was ample proof that the cash came from legitimate retail transactions.
But even after his handcuffs were finally removed, the young man realized that he didn't have his phone. He dreaded having to return to ask the officers for his phone.
"I was scared shitless," he said. "I shouldn't have been. I did nothing wrong. I walked up to one of them and asked, 'do you have my phone?' Immediately another cop starts putting his hands in my pocket."
The entire pointless and harrowing ordeal took about two hours.
The three remained shaken and upset and have had their views of local police modified by the experience.