The president of Montreal’s police union says officers here are a target for attacks because it’s a “multi-ethnic” city.
Yves Francoeur told Radio-Canada that “police officers are not immune to the possibility of attack because of the ‘multi-ethnic’ character of Montreal.”
When asked about his statements on CBC’s Daybreak, Francoeur said radicalized Islamic attacks are a factor the police need to consider.
He said the police have good relationships with Muslim leaders, but that radical attacks are a concern for the police force.
“We have good co-operation with those communities, who have to face some very extremist individuals in their own communities, but we’re working with them."
Francoeur said there’s still an ongoing investigation into the man arrested on Friday for allegedly making threats against police, but he believes the man was motivated by religion.
“I know from the investigation, there was a relation with religion, Islamist.”
A spokesman for the Montreal police department has not confirmed that Islam, or any religion, was involved in that arrest.
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre took to Twitter to call on Francoeur to clarify his comments.
Mtl's diversity and multicultural character is an added value not a threat for our safety.Mtl police union Pres needs to clarify his thought— DenisCoderre (@DenisCoderre) December 22, 2014
In the interview, Francoeur also noted that the men involved in the St-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Ottawa attacks, Michael Zihaf-Bibeau and Martin Couture-Rouleau, were both French Quebecers who converted to Islam and not part of the mainstream Muslim community.