Maple Spring: 10 years later he sues police and “Matrikel 728”

Ten years after “Maple Spring,” a student who says he was beaten up by police and abused by the agent nicknamed “Matricule 728” has just filed a lawsuit for $122,500.

“The events of 2012 had serious psychological consequences,” says Olivier Grondin in his civil complaint, which was published at the Montreal courthouse on Wednesday.

Mr Grondin, who studied at UQAM, explains that at the time he was acting as a first responder to other people who had taken to the streets. According to the court file, he took part in a hundred demonstrations in just a few months.

However, one of them, the one from April 25, 2012, turned out badly for him. Because when the police dispersed the crowd, he would have been confronted by agents who would have asked for their registration numbers.

“In response, he was kicked directly in his right flank, and a series of batons and kicks hit his back, arms and head,” his attorneys allege in the civil suit.

According to reports, Mr Grondin continued to ask the police for their service numbers and only received beatings in response.

“I surrender, at least so I will have your registration number on my criminal complaint,” would have replied the student, who would have been hit again before being asked to leave the premises.

That evening, the student drank “only three beers and an ounce of rum,” he said in the civil lawsuit.

cayenne pepper

Student demonstrations then continued, culminating in an event on May 20, 2012, when he said he saw a woman being insulted by a police officer. This was later identified as Stéfanie Trudeau, aka “matricule 728”.

“If you want to squeak, I can eat it,” he then told police.

Immediately afterwards he was sprinkled with cayenne pepper.

Mr Grondin believed he was a victim of police brutality and suffered as a result of those events and asked the City of Montreal to compensate him. The latter refused on the basis of the prescription, since the events had happened 10 years ago. According to him, however, an article in Quebec’s civil code allows, in certain circumstances, to wait several years before filing a civil lawsuit.

Unless an amicable settlement is reached, the lawsuit will shortly be submitted to a judge in the Superior Court of Quebec.

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