It is rare for police officers in Canada who kill to face any repercussions. It is almost unheard of for them to be charged. It almost never occurs in cases involving the police killing of poor or street involved people. In one of the rare instances officer Simon Beaulieu of the Québec City police will stand trial for driving over cyclist Guy Blouin with a police cruiser in 2014
Beaulieu drove his police car at 48-year-old Blouin in an attempt to intercept him for nothing more than driving his bike the wrong way on a one way street. Driving a bike on the wrong side of the road or on the sidewalk are occurrences that happen regularly in cities across the country every day. Witnesses report the police cruiser was backed up over the stricken cyclist who died several hours later in hospital.
Beaulieu will face a trial by Québec court judge on charges of criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving causing death. Beaulieu’s lawyer had sought a trial by jury. Lawyers for police often do so hoping to screen in favor of jurors who are sympathetic to police. In cases where the victim is poor or street involved it is less likely their peers will be part of any jury pool.
Residents in the St.-Roch neighborhood where Blouin was killed formed a group, Comité 3 septembre in response to Blouin’s killing. One member, street nurse Sandy McKay, believes that Blouin was a victim of police profiling as a member of the low-income, marginalized community of St.-Roch. The killing would thus be a case of police initiated poor bashing (a not uncommon experience of police activity in poor neighborhoods). The group is glad that this case will make it to trial. They state that members of the community, especially those who are street involved, remain traumatized and fearful by the killing of Guy Blouin by police officer Simon Beaulieu.