A video that went viral Saturday shows police cracking down on a family’s “illegal” New Year’s Eve party in Gatineau, Quebec, leading to two arrests and six people fined.
The video of the altercation posted to social media showed one of the arrested persons dragged and taken to the ground.
NEW – Canadian police stormed an “illegal gathering of six people” in a Gatineau home after a neighbor ratted them out. The residents resisted.pic.twitter.com/Bl5tJmMOIN— Disclose.tv ???? (@disclosetv) January 2, 2021
The police went to the Gatineau home to break up the party at about 11:30 p.m. EST on New Year’s Eve after a neighbor complained, CBC News reported. (RELATED: French Police Crack Down On 2,500-Person New Year’s Eve Rave For Violating COVID-19 Curfew)
When cops arrived, they discovered six people from multiple households within, violating Quebec’s holiday COVID-19 restrictions that forbid private gatherings until January 10, according to National Post. Local lockdown rules, CBS News reported, prohibit visitors from other addresses from being inside people’s homes.
Mathieu Tessier, the home owner’s brother and one of the two detained, told CBC News that the Police used disproportionate force and weren’t even wearing masks.
Tessier admitted that the family took a risk with a gathering but said he thought if cops showed up, they would request them politely to disband the party. “The worst case in my head, it was … like, a warning,” he told CBC News.
“The Police cannot do what they did to us. They treat us like animals, like criminals,” Tessier said.
In a separate interview with CTV News Ottawa, Tessier said that he got involved in the confrontation after a cop allegedly grabbed his mother’s arm. “The truth is…they aggressed us,” he added.
In a series of tweets Saturday, Gatineau police (SPVG) claimed that the video on social media portrayed half of the story. They alleged that one of the six individuals assaulted a cop.
1/2 – Intervention du 31 déc : La vidéo ne montre qu’un extrait de l’intervention. Les individus étaient récalcitrants et ont refusé de collaborer. L’individu arrêté sur la vidéo avait commis un voie de fait sur un policier, le frappant au visage à quelques reprises. #Gatineau— PoliceGatineau (@PoliceGatineau) January 2, 2021
2/2 – (suite) : Infraction = obligation de s’identifier. Une 2e personne a aussi été arrêtée et 6 constats émis (Loi sur la santé publique). Nous sollicitons votre collaboration pour continuer de respecter les mesures sanitaires et collaborer lors de toute intervention policière. https://t.co/O6IIL1OYCc— PoliceGatineau (@PoliceGatineau) January 2, 2021
“The video shows only an excerpt from the intervention,” the SPVG tweeted in French. “The individuals were recalcitrant and uncooperative. The individual arrested in the video had assaulted a police officer, smacking him in the face a few times.”
Tessier’s sister was also arrested for refusing to cooperate with requests to provide personal information, CTV News reported.
Tessier and his sister have been released, National Post reported. All six attendees were fined $1,546 Canadian ($1,214.50 USD).