A 41-year-old man died at the courthouse in Trois-Rivières, Québec, on Tuesday, January 21, after having been arrested by Sûreté du Québec (SQ) officers the day before. The Bureau des enquetes independantes (BEI), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, is investigating. They report that the man was arrested on January 20, in Bécancour by two officers of the Sûreté du Québec. According to the BEI, the man taken to the SQ station in Shawinigan where he was detained overnight.
The following day, the same SQ officers took the man to the Trois-Rivières courthouse and he was turned over to courthouse constables. Several hours later, the victim began to show signs of illness in the presence of courthouse constables and the judge who was to hear his case who ordered that the man be taken immediately to a hospital. He died before he could be taken from the courthouse.
The BEI has assigned nine investigators to the case. The BEI are not an independent investigation unit and they receive technical assistance from Montreal police in examining cases. This means that in Québec, police are always involved in investigating police.
This is the second SQ-involved death of a civilian in four days.
Quebec’s provincial police force (Sûreté du Québec, SQ) shot and killed a man in the evening of January 17, 2020, in Shawinigan, a city northeast of Montreal. The Bureau des enquetes independantes (BEI), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, report that police responded to a 911 call around 9:30 PM with regard to a man who appeared to be distressed who was allegedly chasing a taxi.
According to the BEI, an SQ officer shot and killed the man because he “approached police in a menacing way.” No details have been provided publicly on what this rather vague description actually involved. Appearing to be menacing shot not be a reason to be shot and killed. This is another example of why police should not be called when someone is experiencing distress.
The BEI has assigned nine investigators to examine the case.
A 50-year-old man died during an arrest at a home in Laval, Quebec in the early hours of June 28. Quebec’s Bureau of Independent Investigations (BEI), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, is investigating the death. The BEI reports that police were called to a residence on 35th Avenue just after midnight following reports of a “violent family dispute.” The nature of the dispute and the man’s part in it have not been released publicly. The BEI do report that the man was being handcuffed and was on his knees when he stopped breathing. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Eight BEI officers have been assigned to investigate the killing.
Killer cop Patrick Ouellet of the Sûreté du Québec (SQ), the provincial police force, has been sentenced to eight months in jail for killing five-year-old Nicholas Thorne-Belance in February 2014. Ouellet had been found guilty of dangerous driving causing death in July 2018 for crashing his police vehicle into the car in which Thorne-Belance was riding, killing the child.
Ouellet was driving an unmarked police cruiser at more than 100 km/h in a 50 km/h zone in Saint-Hubert, when he smashed into the side of the car carrying Nicholas, his sister and his father.
Quebec court Judge Éric Simard handed down the sentence on November 18 at the Longueuil courthouse. In addition to the eight-month sentence, Ouellet will also be banned from driving for 20 months.
Crown lawyer Geneviève Langlois said the sentence was intended to make a statement: “The incarceration sends a clear message to the police community regarding the criminal behavior adopted by police officers in the course of their duties.”
This is a curious statement given the shortness of the sentence and the fact that initially the Crown did not even press charges against Ouellet. At the time they said that speeding was not a sufficient reason to lay charges.
It was only after immense public outcry that the case was examined closely, and charges brought forward. Then-justice minister Stephanie Vallée appointed a panel of independent prosecutors, including a retired judge, to look at the case. Ouellet was only charged in May 2015, more than a year after the crash.
Killer cop Ouellet is currently appealing the verdict.
On August 21, 2018 Montreal police shot and killed 23-year-old Nicholas Gibbs, a young Black man. He was shot five times, twice in the back. On October 30, 2018, eyewitness video of the police killing of Nicholas Gibbs was released publicly by the Gibbs family and their support network. The video clearly shows that Nicholas Gibbs posed no direct threat to police when he was killed. Police shouted at him in French only, though Gibbs spoke English. The family has announced a lawsuit against the Montreal police.
Nicholas Gibbs was the father of three young children. A fundraising campaign has been established to support the Gibbs family through this awful time. Families of people killed by police are not eligible for any of the state support that is now made available to victims of criminal acts.
The fundraising campaign can be accessed here: https://www.gofundme.com/justice-pourfor-nicholas-gibbs
The video (Warning: it shows Nicholas Gibbs killing by police): https://www.facebook.com/NoBordersMediaNetwork/posts/458611824546185
A police chase in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec, ended with the death of a 20-year-old man on the morning of October 30, 2018. Quebec’s investigations unit, the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI), the agency that investigates cases of police harm to civilians in the province, claims that initial information suggests the 20-year-old driver of a vehicle being chased by Quebec provincial police (Sûreté du Québec, SQ) crashed into a parked vehicle. The young man was killed in the impact of the crash.
The BEI reports that the chase started when police tried to pull the SUV driver over because of an alleged traffic violation. The SQ decided to initiate a pursuit even though they are known to put lives at risk and even though the initial interaction was over only a traffic violation.
The BEI has assigned eight investigators to examine what occurred. The BEI is not an independent agency and they rely on the Montreal police service to provide a forensic identification expert and two collision reconstruction experts.
Kativik Regional Police (KRPF) shot and killed a 40-year-old man during an overnight standoff in Inukjuak, a town of around 1,800 people on Hudson Bay in Quebec’s Inuit territory of Nunavik. The Quebec Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (Bureau of Independent Investigations, BEI) is investigating.
According to the BEI, the police encounter with the man began when someone allegedly fired a long gun several times outside a residence around 8:30 PM, Tuesday, September 4. Officers with the Sûreté du Québec and Kativik Regional Police (KRPF) were sent to the scene of the alleged incident. The BEI says that three people in the house eventually left as police negotiated with the man.
Around 11:10 AM, on the morning of September 5, a KRPF officer shot and killed the man. No other details have been released and the claims of police have not been independently confirmed publicly.
The BEI is not an independent oversight agency. It relies on the participation of active police officers from other forces in carrying out its investigations. Six BEI investigators, as well as two Montreal police investigators, have been assigned to examine this killing.