Organized in 1995, the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality (C.O.B.P., following their French acronym) is a group dedicated to the rights of those affected by police brutality. The group is still active today, organizing The International Day Against Police Brutality, which takes place every March 15, and has spread across the world. The group does not solely publicly demonstrate against police brutality, they also actively provide aid and resources for victims of those affected by the cause they oppose. The Collective actively tries to educate people on the matter of police brutality and provides information on how to aid their cause and protect oneself from the likes of police brutality or any sort of police harassment (C.O.B.P., n.d.).
The C.O.B.P. are one of the most formalized anti police brutality organizations, though they certainly are not the only. The National Police Accountability Project is an American organization with many of the same intentions as the C.O.B.P. There are also many community organized groups who focus on demonstrations at a local level (NPAP, n.d.). The deaths of Toronto teenager Sammy Yatim (Oved, 2014), and the death of Ferguson native Michael Brown (McLaughlin et al, 2014), both at the hands of police officers, are just some of the incidents that have stirred up demonstrations against police brutality reaching international levels. Despite public awareness of police brutality for decades (Reiss, 1968), the movement against it has risen in recent years, spurred on by the increase in certain aspects of police culture such as militarization and the misuse of equipment.
The 2009 anti-police brutality march in Montreal was not the first of its kind, but it was considered one of the most heated marches since the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality formalized the demonstration. Said to have reached a tipping point after some of the demonstrators began acting aggressively by throwing rocks at store windows and targeting police officers, hundreds of demonstrators were arrested (CTV News, 2012). After the increasing exposure of police brutality around the world, demonstrators have become more agitated with the lack of progress in police standards, and discontent with the direction police use of force and coercion is trending. The 2009 march in Montreal was certainly a clash of protesters and police that brought to the forefront the desire of many around the world to curb police brutality.
The actions that took place in the 2009 protest is increasingly being seen around the world as an effective method by protestors for getting their message heard. The Collective Opposed to Police Brutality is working with any individual who is willing to display their displeasure with the state of police brutality. Around the world they would like this to become an ongoing process of interaction with the police to develop standards that do not put citizens at risk. The Collective collects data documenting police actions and procedures. This, they believe, can contribute to the transparency of the police force, as well as help educate citizens on how to better protect themselves (C.O.B.P., n.d.). The current state of police brutality is expanding and needs further examination to determine its impact on society.
Collective Opposed to Police Brutality. 2014. “Who We Are?” Retrieved from https://cobp.resist.ca/en/whoweare
CTV News. March 15, 2012. Anti-police brutality protest results in about 150 arrests. Retrieved from http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/anti-police-brutality-protest-results-in-about-150-arrests-1.782615
McLaughlin, E., Martinez, M., Sutton, J., Karimi, F., Cuevas, M., Carroll, J. September 16, 2014. Dueling narratives in Michael Brown shooting. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/19/us/ferguson-michael-brown-dueling-narratives/
National Police Accountability Project. 2014. “About Us” Retrieved from http://www.nlg-npap.org
Oved, M. July 30, 2014. Second charge laid against Toronto cop in Sammy Yatim shooting | Toronto Star. Retrieved from http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2014/07/30/toronto_cop_charged_with_attempted_murder_in_sammy_yatim_shooting.html
Reiss, Albert J.,Jr. 1968. Police Brutality-Answers To Key Questions. Trans-Action, 5(8), 10-20. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.library.yorku.ca/docview/60621808?accountid=15182