Montreal police stop woman going to work during curfew and search her lunch bag

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“He has no reasonable or probable grounds to search. He hasn’t got the power to do that and the woman has certain constitutional rights to be free of an abusive search.”

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The Montreal police department said officers should address each situation with “good judgment.”

“Before imposing a sanction on an offender, they will carry out the necessary research and analyze each situation according to its context and its particularities,” the police force said in a statement.

But, it’s up to citizens to prove they’re allowed out during curfew.

“They must also answer the police officers’ questions satisfactorily and have the documents required to confirm their situation,” says the statement.

t erodes trust and confidence in the government

Even if people provide proof, a police officer can reject the explanation and issue a ticket regardless, a statement from the Quebec public security ministry said.

Boro said what happened with Vresk is typical of an officer abusing his authority by threatening greater consequences for the victim not agreeing to a search request.

“This type of behaviour is unacceptable,” he said. “The police are there to serve us. We’re not there to serve them.”

Lawyer Cara Zwibel said if police don’t accept your proof or explanation, it’s best to take the ticket and challenge it in court.

She would rather see police educating residents first about restrictions, rather than handing out tickets. COVID-19 could spread at illegal gatherings, but not while an individual is travelling alone in their car.

“When you fine people for doing things that pose no danger to public health, people really start to question why the rules are in place and whether they make any sense,” Zwibel said. “It erodes trust and confidence in the government.”

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