After a West Island mom demanded an apology for a police intervention at a lemonade stand being run by her two sons over the weekend, Montreal police (SPVM) are now offering their version of events.
For the past two weekends, Ayana Massa’s two children Ariel, eight, and Ness, 11, have been selling lemonade on the front lawn of their family home in Roxboro in an effort to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.
They hope to help find a cure for the disease, which their mother was diagnosed with two years ago.
Massa told Global News the boys had been using a megaphone to promote their lemonade stand, when a passerby angrily approached, verbally assaulted the boys, and threatened to call police.
READ MORE: Montreal mom demands apology for police intervention at sons’ lemonade stand
In an email statement Monday afternoon, Montreal police said they had received three 911 calls for excessive noise at the stand since July 23, so they came to investigate on Saturday.
“I told him, ‘Look, officer, give me a fine. I’ll pay the fine.’ He said, ‘Oh, I’m not giving you a fine. You think that because you’re in a wheelchair, you’re above the law,’” she told Global News on Sunday.
Massa said officers told her the stand would need to be shut down, and said they were aggressive and threatened to arrest her.
Montreal police claim they had no intention of shutting down the operation, even though selling lemonade is not allowed in residential sectors of the borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro. They say they only showed up because of the noise complaints.
“That is the only reason officers from Station 3 presented themselves to the location multiple times,” reads an email from the Montreal police to Global News. “Station 3 had no intention of closing the kiosk.”
Police say the mother wanted the children to be allowed to continue using the megaphone, so they explained that continued use of the megaphone could lead to a ticket or, in an extreme situation, an arrest.
READ MORE: Lemonade stands pop up across Alberta in support of Edmonton children’s hospital
“Nobody wanted to get to the point,” reads the email. “They simply asked multiple times to stop using the megaphone, for the peace and respect of the neighbourhood and good relations between residents of the area. They explained the powers, responsibilities, and procedures of the SPVM to stop this type of infraction.”
She said the first officers at the scene lacked common sense, and she felt they were harassing her. She said the megaphone was only used a few times per hour and the response was completely disproportionate.
The boys have raised over $2,000 for MS, as the community has rallied around their lemonade stand.
Police did not respond to the woman’s request for an apology in their statement.
They invited her to file an official complaint.
Read the full article here