Police powers and duties

Case Studies

Case Studies

Here are some examples of police ethics complaints for lack of respect as well as the way in which we handled them.

Case #1

I was inside shopping at an Ultramar. On leaving, a police officer came to me and asked me for my papers without giving me the reason immediately.
He came back to tell me that there was a request for proof of vehicle insurance on my file and that I had not done it. I showed him my proof because I work nights and didn't have time to go to the SAAQ to show the proof. Politely, I told him that I was wrong, that my house is 40 seconds away from Ultramar and that my insurance is up to date. 
He still gave me, with arrogance, a statement of 486 dollars. I plead guilty, but I find that this arrogant young officer made no effort to calm the situation. Lack of judgment and professionalism. There is a big problem among the younger officers. Not enough judgment. I hope you will consider this formal complaint, and not just give him a slap on the wrist.

Result: Complaint rejected

The complainant seems to be insinuating that the police officer was disrespectful towards him, because he claims that he was arrogant. On the other hand, for the complaint to be admissible, it would be necessary that:

  • The complainant more specifically describes the officer's words and actions that he considered arrogant. 
  • The officer's arrogant words and actions are serious enough to be qualified of disrespectful or rude. Despite being asked by our staff about it, the complainant did not report any words or actions leading to the conclusion that the police officer behaved in a reprehensible manner. This is why this complaint was denied after preliminary analysis.


Case #2

According to their complaint, the complainant ran out of gas on the left side of the highway with their baby and dog on board. When the police officer arrived at the window of the bell, they allegedly said to them: "Brilliant move! Not!". They looked in the car and added: "and you have a baby. Of course!". The complainant replied: “Excuse me? I asked for help I don't need to be talked to like that. This is a bad way to start!". The police officer called a tug, although the complainant only needed gasoline. The police officer then asked for her ID papers, but she did not have them. The police officer said to the complainant in a condescending tone: "Yeah, it's too bad, so... A ticket for that and oh also, another because of the car breakdown on the left side of the road". When the tug came, they asked the police officer to give a lift to the complainant and their baby, because they did not have a belt for the baby. The police officer declined because she did not like the complainant and said that she was going to call a taxi instead.

The complainant was in tears and didn't know what to do. She had her mother talk on the phone with the tug to ask them to get gas, because the complainant could not afford a taxi. The complainant states that they needed help and the police officer refused to assist her. Following this interception, the complainant received two tickets. 

Result: Complaint referred to conciliation

The complainant clearly alleges that a breach of the Quebec Police Code of Ethics was committed and both parties confirm that an interaction did take place. The abbreviated offense report is well detailed, and includes the exchanges with the suspect. The police officer wrote that they gave her opinion on the complainant's situation and that the latter acted offended, shouted and ridiculed them. A conciliation was therefore decreed.

Case #3 

There was an acknowledgment of responsibility, which means that the following story is confirmed by both the citizen and police parties, with the police officers involved acknowledging that they committed certain faults:

In the parking lot of the complainant's workplace, the police hear the suspect shouting insults at them in the distance. At the wheel of the police car, the first police officer approaches the complainant to ask them to identify themselves for the purpose of writing a ticket for insulting a police officer. The complainant, during the conversation with one of the police officers, told them to be quiet. At that moment, the police officer got out of their vehicle and a conversation ensued during which they made intimidating and disrespectful remarks about the social condition of the complainant. Then, seeing that the complainant is getting aggressive, the officer handcuffs them and places them in the car. Following the identification of the complainant, a ticket for having insulted the police is given to them. The second police officer then goes to see the manager of the suspect to tell them that the complainant had problems with the law.

Result: Complaint referred to an investigation, then citation and derogatory decision of the Tribunal administratif de déontologie policière

This complaint was the subject of an investigation, then a summons before the Tribunal administratif de déontologie policière because of the cumulative seriousness of the acts that have been committed by the two police officers during this event. The police have admitted their responsibility in connection with this event. The behavior of the first police officer was therefore recognized as derogatory, in that they lacked respect or politeness, made abusive remarks based on social condition, used blasphemous or abusive language, was intimidating, made an unlawful arrest and an unlawful use of force. Thy received 4 days of suspension without pay. The behavior of the second police officer was also recognized as derogatory in that they departed from their oath of secrecy. The Tribunal administratif de déontologie policière imposed a 2-day suspension without pay.



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