June 1, 2023

La Ronge Northerner

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Maureen’s Principle | Pres

A month since she agreed to work overtime on an ordinary Monday night in an ordinary small town. It’s been a month since she answered her regular call. A month after her death.

Quebecers have moved on to other plays, other other realities. But not the police. Not this agent of the Sûreté du Québec, who thinks “every day” about Maureen Brew, on March 27 in Louisville, during an arrest that went wrong.

“His death won’t change anything,” he predicted darkly. In the first couple of weeks, the world was outraged and said, “Oh my God, we’ve given up on that.” But we have already moved on. »

This police officer — let’s call him Philip because he’s not authorized to speak to the media — has a thought about his colleague every time he gets into his patrol car. Every time, he wonders if it’s him answering a routine call that goes wrong.

In Louisville, Isaac Brouillard Lessard was found not criminally responsible for five acts of violence due to mental disorder. He is violent, paranoid. He scared the neighbors.

In March 2022, the Mental Disorders Review Board concluded that he posed a “significant risk to public safety”. But there’s nothing to worry about: this risk will be “adequately contained if the accused are acquitted.” [était] Subject to appropriate monitoring and supervision.

“If” is important in this sentence.

Apparently, there is no proper monitoring or surveillance. The risk is “not adequately controlled”.

Loosely released, Isaac Brouillard Lessard is a ticking time bomb that exploded this Monday evening in March.

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The day after the tragedy, Philip wrote about his anger in an anonymous message on Facebook that went viral. “Maureen Brew, we betrayed her, he accused. The death of a police officer in the line of duty is one of the risks of the job that we accept. On the other hand, the death of a policeman killed by a madman who should have been locked up long ago is unimaginable. »

Even after a month, the policeman did not lose patience.

I can give you names of guys in my area that we’re going to shoot with at some point. Pardon my language, but they are insane and they get released every time. They are never hospitalized and never treated. Every three or four months, we get a call…

Philip, the policeman

He tells me about hardened criminals who repeatedly violate their terms, but despite the obvious danger they pose, judges persist in acquitting them. “We accept it, it doesn’t matter,” he jokes. We accept it in the name of social reintegration, unfortunately we don’t always have the means to implement it.

But this reality, we don’t want to see, Philip is angry. We like to live in a “world of unicorns” where we happily attack a police officer stationed at the other end of the province because he “disrespects sex offenders in the gap”…

Stefan Wall, a retired SPMV supervisor and expert on the judicious use of force, firmly believes that “if we continue to trivialize the fact that dangerous people are on the streets, people will die.” It’s just a matter of time.

According to the Association of Provincial Police Officers of Quebec, the number of calls to SQ police officers to intervene with someone suffering from a mental condition has increased by 35% since 2018.

The union has launched an online petition on the National Assembly’s website, calling for better monitoring of victims of violence or harassment.

Stéphane Wall proposes to turn it into a policy that will guide not only the criteria for publication but also the development of federal and provincial laws on the subject. He calls it “Maureen’s Theory.”

Following this policy can save lives. Not just for the police. People in crisis, sometimes killed during police intervention. their relatives. A mother, a father, a wife, a grandparent, whose cry for help we do not want to hear.

“Currently, the rights and freedoms of victims are less important than those of violent criminals,” laments Stephen Wall.

He believes lawmakers and judges would not be so quick to release violent criminals if they were their own neighbors. “Some decision makers live on a protected planet and don’t realize there are people who are suffering. […] It doesn’t make sense to say to a sexual assaulter or wife beater, “No, no, this little guy is so miserable, we’re going to send him home to do some Netflix punishment…”

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