Video and Image Analysis of the Protest in Montreal on the 2nd of April 2015
3 avril 2015

Creative Editor - Technical Post-Production Specialist - Project Coordinator

The protest on the 2nd of April 2015 was, for the most part, peaceful up until the end when there was a scuffle between the protesters and the police.

The following is a video and image analysis of what happened at the moment of the scuffle.

This analysis is based on a multi-angle video released by GAPPA of the moment in question. The analysis is of two sections of the video; the scuffle  that happened on de Maisonneuve/Beaudry and the scuffle, a few minutes later, that happened on de Maisonneuve/Berri.

Here is the GAPPA video unchanged or modified except for the addition of the burn in time-code element for time reference.

This is a pretty chaotic scene that merits to be looked at frame by frame in order to understand what happened.

Scuffle at de Maisonneuve/Beaudry
First of all, the protesters were not throwing anything at the police, it is important to note this fact at this point, nor were the protesters threatening the safety of the police officers in any way. All That the protesters can be seen doing at this point is try to move in step by step through the police line without resorting to violence.  We can see in this next slowed down video that at some-point there was a collective decision  made by the SPVM to use non-lethal force to push back the advancing protesters. Note SPVM officer, Alain Bourdages, give the command to commence the assault at time marker 00:00:08:16.

The shield bearing officers advance to the front and the push back begins. Pepper spray was used by no less than 4 officers. Please remember that this push-back was not provoked by the protesters.
Pepper spray officer 1: Same officer who gave the assault command (Alain Bourdages).

Between pepper spray officer 1 and pepper spray officer 2 an officer with a bicycle advances to the front and pushes back protesters with the wheal of his bicycle on head level. The question to be asked here is why was this dangerous attack with a bicycle wheel on the heads of protesters even necessary.

Pepper spray officer 2:

Pepper spray officer 3:

Pepper spray officer 4:

It is unfortunate that with the video quality we have with the videos at our disposal for this analysis we are unable to verify the ID numbers of any of these officers.

Here are some of the results of the pepper spray attack on some of the protesters

crédit photo Denim' Photography
crédit photo Denim’ Photography
crédit photo Denim' Photography
crédit photo Denim’ Photography
crédit photo Denim' Photography
crédit photo Denim’ Photography

At the same location but on the side of the action SPVM officer 2932 violently pushes back camera wielding people. At this point we have to stress that a person with a camera can very easily be a member of the media and that certain SPVM officers do not like to be filmed, even though by law they have no choice in the matter, as public officers working in a public environment at an news worthy event. Several of 99%Media’s journalists have previously and currently been specifically signaled out and targeted individual officers of the SPVM. This is an illegal act on the part of SPVM officer 2932 as he had no right to violently push back persons with camera for whatever reason. There is no justification for his unbecoming behavior.

 

At time mark 00:02:22:18 on de Maisonneuve/Berri the police line preventing the protesters from moving forward suddenly retreat. Protesters, who were earlier pushed, shoved, and pepper sprayed without a visibly reason, are obviously angry and some of them throw plastic bottles of water and at least one stick.

Here are some of the « projectiles » from a different camera angle.

Now at time mark 00:02:40:03 on de Maisonneuve/Berri, as the police is retreating two incidents happen that are questionable. These two incidents, which both happened at around exactly the same time mark 00:02:41:09, may indicate a disproportional measure of force was used against protesters without any kind of clear reason or provocation.

The first incident is when a person, again someone with a camera, gets hit in the face, without clear provocation, by the shield of SPVM officer 5137.

At almost exactly the same time mark, 00:02:41:12, a protester wearing a mask but who is just standing there not doing anything significant or threatening, gets shot by another SPVM officer (whose identity can not be verified in the video) by a kind of hand gun that fires a non lethal projectile or gas. The protester is shot at very close range.

Here is the same incident from a different angle

Sometime after this, when things had supposedly calmed down and protesters are tying to talk with the SPVM officers, SPVM officer 5507 without any clear provocation starts beating at the protesters and shoving them back. He is backed up by another officer who jumps in and pepper sprays everyone immediately.

Here is the incident at normal speed:

Here is the incident slowed down:

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