A video showing an altercation between a policeman from the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) who does not wear a mask and a motorist is circulating on social networks.
The driver of a vehicle stopped at the edge of the highway filmed the intervention of a police officer who approached to speak to him without wearing a face cover.
In the video, the policeman can be heard asking the man to stop filming him.
“I am a Sûreté du Québec police officer, if you do not immediately turn off your phone, I accuse you of intimidation,” he warns.
The driver of the car, who films the scene with his cell phone, asks him to back up.
“I tell you that you're going to step back, you don't have your mask, okay, worse you can contaminate me, worse if you contaminate me, you will be accused of second degree murder”, he launches to the police officer.
A little later, the man gets out of his vehicle, continuing to film. The officer exits the patrol car and asks him to return to his vehicle.
“You are in violation, get back in your vehicle,” demands the SQ agent while approaching the man.
“Don't approach me, you might have the virus.” DO NOT APPROACH ME! LEGITIMATE DEFENSE TAB *** C. You may have the virus, you are putting my life in danger ”, then shouts the man, walking away.
The mask among the police
Police officers are not required to wear a mask during a short response, even if they are within 2 m of another person.
“A brief intervention (less than 15 min) at less than two meters, with a person, does not require additional measures (eg: speed report)”, we can read in a document intended for the police officers published by the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec (INSPQ).
The individual who was the object of the intervention and who posted the video on social media faces charges of assault, death threats, and incitement to violence against a police officer.
“As much the policeman will have to justify his actions, why he did not wear the mask, there are reasons for that, but the citizen cannot do everything and tell the police everything”, explains Roger Ferland, ex -investigator of the Police Department of the City of Quebec (SPVQ).
The latter adds that people who comment on the post on social networks by drafting threats against the police are also exposed to criminal charges.
A spokesperson for the Sûreté du Québec said the police were watching the video and exploring the possibility of carrying out an investigation.