When it comes to the Montreal Police Service, it would seem that sometimes a camera and microphone can serve as behaviour modification devices.
At least that seemed to be the case last Sunday when my cameraman Mocha and I showed up to cover a very small anti-lockdown protest that began at Molson Park.
The police presence might have exceeded the number of protesters at one point.
But why? These were entirely peaceful people.
And what was with the large number of police cruisers who followed the demonstrators? Since the protesters were ordered to stay on the sidewalk as opposed to marching in a live lane of traffic, surely the number of cruisers was unnecessary — unless this was all about the police using intimidation tactics (which is a house specialty of the Montreal Police Service).
And lo and behold! No arrests and no demands were made for the maskless protesters to mask up — which is something the police actually do in Montreal.
Not even Mocha and I ended our report in the backseat of a paddy wagon — surely, a belated Easter miracle!
Bit then again, maybe the Montreal police had realized how they had embarrassed themselves the day before when they spent some 10 hours trying to get a warrant to board and search our perfectly legal (and under-capacity) Airbnb houseboat.
So perhaps the bully boys in blue learned a lesson by not making things worse for themselves by acting like thugs during the Sunday protest. They even left Mocha and I alone to chronicle the protest.
Good! Because last time I checked, even in Premier Francois Legault’s Quebec, practicing journalism is not a crime. Well, at least not yet...