Impunity and arrogance

Impunity and arrogance


Laval, three consecutive shootings targeting young people, including a 15-year-old.

In a restaurant in Vimont, a man is shot without any consideration of the customers, including several children. Montreal, three shootings in a few hours at different locations, Wednesday, June 8. Targeted homicides, drive-by shootings, attacks and counter-attacks, criminal groups are impudent and do not care. We were used to the impulsiveness of gang members, but to much more finesse on the part of organized crime.

However, the latest events involving certain individuals linked to criminal organizations are puzzling. Is there a change in the procedure for settling accounts? Are new players less likely to abide by the “avoid collateral victim” rule?

Anyway, arrogance dominates in the criminal ecosystem.

< p>Zero tolerance

Faced with this lack of consideration, the police response can only be inflexible. When violence spills into the streets like this, repression takes center stage. In this sense, police action aims to target criminal groups and arms traffickers. Part of this work involves preventative interventions and interceptions. In other words, to act before the shooting takes place and to remove the weapons from the street. Therein lies the challenge.

However, according to some police officers, this type of intervention is less and less preferred, particularly in certain neighborhoods of Montreal and with certain groups of the population.

However, preventive intervention is- it so effective? In addition to several criminological studies that demonstrate its importance in terms of urban safety, what about the field?

Montreal versus Quebec

The comparison between Quebec and Montreal is telling in itself. Whether it's attempted murder, homicide or gunshots, Montreal beats Quebec. Are there fewer gangsters in Quebec or conflicts between criminal groups? Of course not. It is true that all traffickers pay their tithes to the Hells Angels, but struggles over trafficking and selling drugs are always an issue.

How then can we explain this difference? There is no single, simple answer to this question, but an important element emerges from the field: knowledge of criminalized individuals and the dynamics between the different criminal groups, as well as preventive intervention. In Quebec, the police know the traffickers involved in conflicts who, moreover, carry weapons. They are watched and frequently encountered by the police who warn them or arrest them before the shooting. This is called preventive intervention.

In Montreal, police officers know the criminals and criminal groups in their area. Squads like Éclipse or Équinoxe (Laval) even know where these guys have their breakfast. However, it seems that many Montreal patrol officers are thinking twice before intervening preventively. Why ? Fear of being accused of racial profiling.

Impunity and arrogance