In the last decade, our police officers have been under great pressure. Better manage mental health cases, have a better sense of community, prove that they are not racially profiling. The least pressure on the police: arresting criminals.

Without embarking on the American movement to defund the police, the left-wing movements very present in the politics of Greater Montreal have influenced public security policies. The police are looked askance. The police are seen as suspects and we do not hesitate to put a few spokes in their wheels.

Do you think criminals are unaware of this? Do you think that street gangs did not see this as an opportunity to thrive?

The result: gun crimes are committed in the street, in broad daylight. A settling of scores takes place in the middle of a restaurant at dinner time, with children a few tables away.

Too easy

Street gangs and organized crime stocked up on illegal guns while politicians macramé with legal gun control projects. The criminal world took full advantage of all the constraints that were imposed on the police.

For fear of departing from the so-called inclusive principles, the squads specializing in street gangs were even dissolved about ten years ago. Guess the result: the gangs are back in force, more armed, arrogant and wealthy than ever. Many now act as if the streets and neighborhoods belong to them. Same thing for organized crime.

What happened Wednesday night in a restaurant in Laval goes beyond a simple settling of accounts. Yes, an individual linked to organized crime was liquidated by a rival. Yes, through such violent acts, the groups threaten each other and prove their strength in order to establish their superiority over the territory.

But by doing it in this place, at this time and in this way, they also send a message to all of society. How not to see a show of force, a snub to the police and citizens?

This time, no one other than the targeted man was injured, fortunately. However, experts insist on the extreme dangerousness of such an act. A stray bullet, a ricocheting bullet or a general panic could cause harm to innocent people or even worse.

Politicians standing

The time has come to give the police the tools, the means and the mandate to put an end to the shootings in the streets. And that includes unreserved political support. Whoever gives you the mandate to clean a pigsty can’t let you down if you come out with dirty boots.

The police must be given a clear mandate to clean the streets, with the political support that this requires.