Police Squad of the Eclipse, the SPVM shock group assigned to the hot spots of the city, complained against their commander for obstruction of justice, as part of an internal crisis amid allegations of racial profiling and political interference, La Presse has learned.
According to our sources, an internal investigation was triggered after the filing of the complaint. But as the management would neither confirm nor deny the matter, it is difficult to separate the share of responsibility of each party in this confrontation.
The conflict stems from the difficult relationship of the squad with two brothers of Montreal Haitian descent Pascal and Clifford Beauport. Pascal, the eldest, is blue collar to the City of Montreal. He drives a Mercedes of the year and frequent nightclubs where he says he often found that he attracted the attention of the Eclipse Squad.
Scuffle THE NEW YEAR
“They are really tiring,” he ranted when La Presse joined him on the phone yesterday. Among the many skirmishes he admits having had with the police, reports a New Year’s Eve at the Auberge Saint-Gabriel in Old Montreal, a year ago.
The narrative of events is unclear, but the 33 year-old worker said he injured the thumb during a scuffle with officers.
“They have spoken against me for no reason.”
He claims to face charges of assault and obstruction to police work since, but has yet to stand trial. He also says that he himself filed a complaint against the agents.
He also said that his younger brother, like him, has often had trouble with the SPVM when they made their bar hopping after dark.
Police sources gave La Presse another version of the case and argue that they are the brothers who refuse to cooperate during routine police patrols.
A MOTHER WELL CONNECTED
Jocelyne Simon, the mother of the two brothers, has come to their defense and pleaded their cause with leaders of the SPVM, citing a case of racial profiling.
I must say it is knowledgeable on the subject: Admission to the Canadian Correctional Service in 1989, involved in the community organization Team RDP and influential leader of the Haitian community, she serves on a liaison committee the SPVM and the black community. One of the first tasks of this committee is precisely the prevention of racial profiling.
“Young black people who undergo it, it is very strong. One day, these are my children, tomorrow it will be the children of others. We must work to resolve it, “said Ms. Simon in La Presse yesterday.
The lady expressed her discontent to senior management of the SPVM. The deputy director Bernard Lamothe was personally involved in the case. The new commander of the Eclipse Squad, Patrice Vilceus, himself of Haitian origin, intervened to soften their relations with brothers Beauport.
For some officers, this was an unacceptable interference in the hierarchy in favor of a citizen connected in high places, but also a betrayal of the frontline officers who face volatile situations every time they take night driving. The complaints followed. The internal investigation will determine whether there was misconduct.
Vaval Pierson, director of Team RDP and colleague of Ms. Simon, pointed out yesterday how important it is for the black community to continue to work hand in hand with the SPVM to resolve this kind of dispute. As Ms. Simon, it is appropriate that the situation has improved over the years. He added that the appointment of a Haitian commander in the direction of Eclipse had received wide acceptance within the community.
“Jocelyne shown courage. It maintains its commitment with the police to find solutions rather than giving up and put themselves in opposition. She continues her work because she believes it, because that is what changes things, “he said.
A flight data in his car
Already struggling with a crisis in his team, Squad Commander Eclipse has had the misfortune of being robbed of secret data very sensitive just before Christmas.
Le Journal de Montreal yesterday revealed that a burglar stole the bag Patrice Vilceus had left lying on the seat of his car for a Christmas party. Inside, two USB keys containing highly confidential information on investigations SPVM. The police department confirmed that an investigation was under way yesterday. Reportedly, many investigators assigned to the case have not been determined if the thief had become aware of the importance of the key or if he had just thrown away.