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Letters to the Editor

I recently visited Halifax for the first time and I had a quite unpleasant experience with the Palace nightclub and the police in your city. In less than a week I also met 3 others (two foreigners and one local) who had similar experiences.

Outside of Palace nightclub in the downtown area, where I was standing for a few minutes after bouncers had told me they would not let me in because I had a pen on my person, I was harassed and subsequently arrested by members of the Halifax Regional Police Department. I did nothing that could justify their decision to arrest me, so I believe it was an unlawful arrest. They told me that I was drunk, even though I had had only two drinks and they refused to administer a breathalyzer test even though I told them I was not drunk and requested that they administer a breathalyzer test. None of the officers who were present would give me their name or badge number. I have never been arrested before. Even though I was not charged I was made to sit in a cold cell for 8 hours and I am dismayed at such an abuse of police power.

There is something fishy going on at this nightclub. The bouncers are rude and antagonistic, undoubtedly the worst attitude I have ever seen in a club, anywhere in the world. Yet this is the only club, pub or bar in Halifax with a constant police presence and the police are clearly very eager to arrest people on the flimsiest of pretenses. It is as if the bouncers are provoking people to provide an excuse for police to arrest them.

I thought Halifax wanted to promote its tourism industry, but if people who are just trying to have an enjoyable night out are treated like criminals I don't think so many will want to come back.

By Joseph

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