Sep 22 2013
Superior Court Judge Michèle Lacroix has ordered a new trial for a provincial police officer convicted of insulting two officers from the municipal force in Trois-Rivières.
She also expressed hope for a “satisfactory compromise between two police forces that have to maintain order in society, starting with maintaining order and respect between themselves.”
The case involves an incident in Trois-Rivières in December 2011.
Two officers from the municipal force were on night patrol in an unmarked car in a neighbourhood beset by break-ins when they spotted a van with tinted windows they considered suspicious emerging from behind a store.
As it turned out, the vehicle was being driven by a plainclothes Sûreté du Québec officer doing a stakeout, but he didn’t advise the others right away after they pulled him over.
Initially, he wouldn’t even answer their questions about what he was doing there. After an increasingly acrimonious exchange, he finally did identify himself, but called the municipal officers “des deux de pique” (a couple of losers).
He was subsequently mailed a citation for insulting an officer in the exercise of his duty and obstructing an officer. At a trial in 2012, he was acquitted on the obstruction charge but convicted for the insult and fined $100.
The SQ officer appealed the conviction, on the grounds it was “unreasonable” and the judge did not respect his right to a full defence by cutting short the trial.
“It’s possible the cross-examination would not have improved the (SQ) officer’s situation,” Judge Lacroix noted, but she agreed he had not been given the opportunity to fully explain himself, so she consented to a new trial.