A Montreal police officer met with his superiors after a confrontation with a homeless man outside the Jean-Talon Metro station Thursday.
It was all videotaped by a passerby which shows a homeless man clad only in a tee-shirt and cutoff jeans being berated by the policeman who at one point also threatens to tie the man to a pole.
The temperature at the time was in the mid-minus 20's with a windchill close to minus 40.
“What the policeman said was totally unacceptable,” Montreal mayor Denis Coderre said. “Regarding any situation, you don’t talk that way, you don’t act that way."
Coderre met with reporters Friday morning and said the police service received four 9-1-1 calls about the agressive homeless man wearing nothing but shorts and a t-shirt on the street. That's when police went to the scene to intervene.
Montreal Police Commander Ian Lafreniere says the police officer's conduct was unacceptable.
“Threatening to attach him to a pole, especially with the weather, why did he say that?” asked Commander Ian Lafrenière with the Montreal police. “Was it just to scare him because he wanted him to go away and be in a warm place?”
He said since Monday the police department has assigned two officers per shift to deal with homeless people found on the street during the current cold snap.
“I think it is important also to show that [homeless people] are human beings,” Coderre said. “We need to surround ourselves with the right expertise and the left hand has to know what the right hand is doing.”.
"When was the last time you went up to a homeless person and asked him or her their name and how their doing," Coderre asked.
It is not clear if the conclusion of the conversation between the officer and his commander will be made public.