Police have a difficult job. Nobody in their right mind will argue that point.
Civilians are often rude, disrespectful, and downright offensive to the brave men and women who wear a police uniform. In most cases, they respond to these indignities with grace and decorum. Occasionally however, a police officer fails to meet that most basic standard.
Such is the case of Calgary Police Services Constable Adam Massart.
On October 28, just after 9 PM, Constable Massart pulled his service pistol and pointed it at a motorist. The offence? The individual flipped Constable Massart and his partner the middle finger.
Threatening a person's life with deadly force for a hand gesture defintely crosses the line of an acceptable police response.
Constable Massart, a six-year veteran, now faces one charge of unlawfully pointing a firearm. He was also relieved from duty, according to Calgary Police Services Inspector Keith Cain.
The brave men and women who dedicate their lives to serving and protecting us do a magnificent job most of the time. They behave with dignity and decorum and restraint in some of the most difficult situations imaginable.
That was not the case here.
Pointing a firearm at a person is a serious action, even when they deserve it. It is far more serious when a police officer loses his temper and threatens the life of a civilian over a hand gesture.
"One of the officers then exited his unmarked unit, drew his service handgun and pointed his firearm for several seconds," said Insp. Keith Cain, adding the weapon was allegedly pointed at the motorist.
We hold police officers to a higher standard for one very simple reason - their capacity to deliver lethal force. Proper discretion is critical for police officers. Unfortunately, Constable Massart failed us all in that regard.
Unfortunately, Constable Massart failed himself, his police force and the good citizens of Calgary that night.
I trust, regardless of the outcome of this criminal charge, Constable Massart will take the time for serious self-examination, reflect on his actions, examine his core values, and deal with whatever issues he uncovers.
In the meantime, he must now face the consequences for his momentary lapse of judgment.