Thursday, August 23, 2007

Cop spotted in Montebello, protesters allege

Two police forces are denying that an aggressive man caught on film at the recent Montebello protest was a police agent provocateur, DawgNews has learned. Sergeant Sue E. Flic, of the Sûreté du Québec, stated, “We don’t use agents provocateurs. We are quite provocative enough without that.” Captain R.C. Bunker of the RCMP, echoed her denial. “We don’t do that sort of thing,” he said. “Pepper-spraying infants and so on? Sure. But not sneaky stuff.”

The man, followed to a police line by a number of protesters after allegedly shoving one of them, was wearing riot gear, a police ID badge and Vibram-soled boots identical to those worn by police officers. He was also carrying what looked like a standard-issue pistol, pepper-spray and a pair of handcuffs, witnesses said.

“We just knew he had to be a cop,” said labour leader Dave Coales. “He stood out like a sore thumb. Nobody knew him. And he wouldn’t take off his mask.”

“He might have been a protester pretending to be a cop pretending to be a protester pretending to be a cop,” said D'Arcy Jerrom, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “He certainly wasn’t given direction by the PMO.”

According to several protesters, the man passed easily through a police cordon, and into a cemetery. Police apparently did not place him under arrest. The two police forces refused to release his name, stating that this is never done unless charges are laid. Asked if it was standard operating procedure not to arrest and charge a threatening individual deliberately penetrating a police line, Flic and Bunker each refused comment, citing security concerns.

Retired Ottawa police officer and security consultant Doug Kirkwood questioned the allegation. "Police dressing up as police and hanging around the protest movement? That seems a little far-fetched to me. I hope it isn't true."

"Now we have proof positive that this sort of thing is going on," said Maude Georgetti, one of the Montebello protest leaders. "In fact, this fellow and others like him have been coming to our planning meetings all along, banging on their shields and asking a lot of questions. One of them even arrived on horseback. It just didn't feel right."

Protest organizers have vowed to pursue the matter with an official complaint.

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