Mirabel, Canada - A shop associated with the Hells Angels reopens under surveillance
A dozen policemen were on scene Saturday to make sure "everything happens in order"
Five police cars were parked in front of the Shop Shop Support 81 on Saturday.
The Shop Shop Support 81, associated with the Hells Angels, reopened its doors Saturday under increased police surveillance, just a few steps from a primary school in Mirabel.
A dozen police officers from the Sûreté du Québec (SQ), Mirabel and the regional mixed squads were on site from the opening at 10 am until mid-afternoon.
"We were there to make sure everything went smoothly. The only arrest we made was related to road safety, "said Hugo Fournier, spokesman for the SQ.
Shop Shop 81, located on Saint-Canut Boulevard, has since last year sold clothes in support of the Hells Angels. The number 81 represents the initials of the criminalized group. The "8" refers to the eighth letter of the alphabet, the "h", and the number "1", the first, the "a".
The shop resumed its activities on Saturday after being closed for a month for renovations and a change of ownership.
Members of the Devils Ghosts biker club were seen entering
Several sympathizers dressed from head to toe in "Support 81" came to the business in the morning, according to the police. Two members of the Devils Ghosts of Sherbrooke, a motorcycle club associated with the Hells, also went on a shopping tour with their colors.
None of the few clients who were there at the time of the Journal accepted to answer our questions, nor did the saleswoman who took care of the shop.
On learning of the reopening of The Shop this week, citizens have expressed their fears to the police. It must be said that the shop is located directly in front of Sainte-Anne primary school.
Nevertheless, the residents of the neighborhood met Saturday by Le Journal were not at all worried.
"I know the person who owns it, and it's not even a Hells, it's super fine," said Johanne Lebeau, a resident of Laurier Street.
"We often talked to people there and they are really" cool ", added a neighbor, Frederic Comeau. I have no problem with that. "
According to Pierre de Champlain, author and former intelligence analyst with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, citizens are right not to be frightened.
"I do not think we need to fear people's safety, because the Hells are unlikely to take the risk of doing any illegal activities in that area," he said.
An opinion shared by the former investigator of the SQ Paul Laurier, who nonetheless points out that the purchase of clothing "Support 81" is not without consequences.
"It's a shop that, technically, is used to finance the prisoners, the defense of the Hells members," he said. [...] As a citizen, we have a responsibility that comes with our purchases. People who buy clothes there are encouraging organized crime. "
Paul Laurier, Ex-SQ Investigator
The Mayor of Mirabel, Jean Bouchard, assures that the presence of the shop "does not [make] him happy".
"On the other hand, it's all up to the police, who will keep surveillance," he said.
***SQ is the acronym for Sûreté du Québec, Quebec's Provincial Police Force