SQ policeThe developing story about alleged Quebec police misconduct keeps getting more interesting. Neil Macdonald wrote an amazing analysis of the situation over at CBC News. There is some great analysis going into the history of SQ (Sûreté du Quebec police union) and how they consider themselves above the law but I think the closing statement is probably the best closing statement in any article I’ve ever read:

But ask yourself this: If I, a charter member of the privileged white males society, find them frightening, imagine what must go through the head of an intoxicated young aboriginal woman on a cold night, alone in a squad car?

Wow. I highly suggest reading the article in full. It will be well worth your time.

To speak to the title of my post though I wanted to address the fact that police officers were taking our aboriginal brothers and sisters for a car ride and dropping them off miles outside of town. For those of you that think this is a new or unusual practice, don’t. It has happened before. And outside of Quebec. As some of you may remember the Saskatoon Freezing Deaths. This was where the Saskatoon police force would take natives out on “starlight tours”, which would mean to drive them miles outside of the city and drop them off. In the dead of winter. We know this was happening as early 1976 because an officer was punished for this and we know it was happening as late as 2000. Is it still happening there?

I remember the reporting at the time of the story and found it troubling but I thought this must be an isolated incident, just this one police for that was doing this. To find that the SQ is doing the same is exceptionally dismaying. If the SQ is doing this, then how many other police forces are doing this as well? That the SQ *allegedly* are adding rape into the situation by demanding sexual favours for a ride back into town saddens me.

As the Intransigent One stated, these things don’t happen in a vacuum. I think this story has revealed the need for not just a federal investigation into the developing Quebec story, nor just the Highway of Tears, nor just the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, but on the conduct of all police forces in relations to our indigenous people. That there are three major issues happening at the same time, all in different parts of the country demonstrates the need for this. We need to get a handle on this issue. I mean, if Neil Macdonald can feel frightened by one of our police forces, imagine how it is for someone not in the privileged class. It’s no wonder why there are such trust issues between our aboriginal people and the rest of us.

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