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Police were motivated to strike because of difficult working conditions caused by disarming FLQ-planted bombs and patrolling frequent protests. Montreal police also wanted higher pay, commensurate with police earnings in Toronto.
As the police were on strike on October 7, 1969, a crowd of disgruntled taxi drivers congregated around the Murray-Hill garage in Griffintown, protesting against Murray-Hill’s monopoly at the Dorval International Airport. Attempts by the Sûreté du Québec to stop the procession towards the garage were stopped by striking Montreal policemen. During the melée, Sûreté corporal Robert Dumas was killed by shots fired from the roof by security guards and the owner’s son.
As the riot was ongoing, the National Assembly of Quebec passed an emergency law forcing the police back to work. By the time order was restored, 108 people had been arrested. The inability of the City of Montreal to manage its police force was a driving factor behind the creation of the Montreal Urban Community in 1970. Murray Hill also lost its monopoly at the Dorval airport.