Top cop testifies at Maple Spring commission
Montreal police chief Marc Parent told the provincially-mandated commission looking into last year's student demonstrations, the so-called Maple Spring, that he is extremely proud of the work the Montreal police force did during those tumultuous months.
He described the time as "complex, difficult, historic, incomparable and at times dangerous." and repeated his assertion that the force maintained its professionalism throughout.
In the two-hour testimony, he discussed crowd control techniques, training, protocols on the use of force and mass arrests - as well as the toll the nightly demonstrations took on police officers.
He said a total of 71 officers suffered injuries, but added that psychologically, he did not see any significant long-term negative effects.
He reiterated that the police's number one priority was the safety of all Montrealers, including the demonstrators.
And he maintained that even when pressed by commission president Serge Ménard on the fairness of mass arrests and the alleged unhygienic conditions in which those detained were kept.