And given the following claim:
Quebec police released a statement Thursday night saying its officers posed as protesters but did not act illegally.
"At no time did the Quebec provincial police officers act as agents provocateurs or commit criminal acts," the force said.
one might then reasonably ask, then why were they "arrested?" Hmmmmmmmmm?
AND LET'S NOT STOP THERE. The most obvious question to ask is, "When exactly did the Quebec police know that those three men were undercover agents?"
Recall, if you will, the original, adamant denials:
Officers never posed as protesters: Quebec police
The RCMP and Quebec police force have denied allegations their officers posed as protesters to try to provoke peaceful demonstrators at the recent Montebello summit.
"I confirm (to) you that there is no agents provocateurs in the Surete du Quebec... It doesn't exist in the Surete du Quebec," spokesperson Const. Melanie Larouche told The Canadian Press.
That's a clear and unambiguous denial, wouldn't you say? But after the unrelenting pressure builds for a day or two, there's no way to maintain that hilarious fiction any longer. However, how do the Quebec police come clean without having to admit they lied? Easy: they claim that they only found out about this after the fact:
Police said that after viewing the [YouTube] clip, they were able to confirm the men were Quebec provincial police officers.
Admittedly, it's the only way the Quebec police can take the position that they never lied in their original denial but, sadly for them, it just introduces more problems.
First, it makes them look unspeakably clueless in not even knowing that they had some of their own undercover in the crowd, and that's something someone should have to explain in some detail. But that's not the best part.
If the Quebec police want to take the position that they had no idea the three men were undercover, they now have to explain their exceedingly bizarre treatment of them, up to and including the "arrest."
If the police simply admitted that they knew about the infiltrators from the beginning, then they (the police) would at least have a rationale for their out-of-character behaviour in not seeming the least bit alarmed by masked and menacing individuals carrying rocks, followed by a weird "arrest" and subsequent disappearance of the culprits. If those men were already understood to be undercover, then all of that makes perfect sense.
But if the police want to maintain the fiction of ignorance, then all of that makes no sense whatsoever, and definitely requires an explanation. Quite simply, the Quebec cops have painted themselves into a very, very tiny corner.
P.S. I think it's painfully obvious that the police knew about the undercover officers from the beginning, but if they prefer to play the ignorance card, they should be forced to live with the consequences.