Pubdate: Thu, 06 May 2004
Source: Mirror (CN QU)
Copyright: 2004 Communications Gratte-Ciel Ltee
Author: Nadine Benny


About two weeks ago, at 11 p.m. on a Friday night, those who were
unfortunate enough to be taking in the view and smoking a spliff at
Westmount lookout were caught in a very-well-carried-out raid. The
police don't want "kids smoking pot!" there anymore.

I understand their objective; it's a residential area, etc., and I can
even give them their precious "it's not legal yet" line. But why do
they have to be such shmucks?

My friends and I, who were caught rolling a joint in a car, are
22-year-old, full-time university students who work part time and,
between the four of us, probably had nothing more than a speeding
ticket on record. Not to mention we've never bothered anyone in our
years of smoking in residential areas. Regardless, my friend was
cuffed and held after they searched her car without a warrant and
found less than a quarter ounce of marijuana and a bit of hash. She
was very upset and the police, laughing heartily, suggested she
consult a psychologist before she consults a lawyer.

They also insinuated that I was going to drive high because my eyes
were red - after I had cried. Good job guys. I then got to see one of
the female cops push my friend and say, "Tu t'penses hot mais tu l'es
pas!" ("You think you're cool but you're not") after he had questioned
their antics. More blaring professionalism.

On April 27, I read a story about the police's abuse of street
prostitutes in The Gazette and I'm really starting to wonder what they
tell these guys in cop school. "Be condescending. You are an officer
of the law and everyone else is but a petty criminal."

I always had respect for the police, if only for the fact that they're
just doing their jobs like anyone else, but those days are past. They
are clearly not just doing their jobs, they're trying to make up for
some very deeply-rooted insecurities. Poor cops. Maybe their mothers
never paid attention to them. But either way, if they expect any
respect from the community, they better start giving some back. I
anxiously await the day I'll be able to have a humane conversation
with an officer. And to those cops who do have respect and
consideration and who truly do what they do because they want to help
people and not go on a power trip - yes, I still believe there must be
a few out there - it would be great if you could teach the rest of
your colleagues something about common courtesy. Everyone would really
appreciate it.

Nadine Benny
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