Category Archives: SQ

Sûreté du Québec (SQ) Shoot and Kill 53-Year-Old Man in Lavaltrie (June 22, 2020)

Quebec’s provincial police force (Sûreté du Québec, SQ) shot and killed a 53-year-old man in Lavaltrie, Quebec (Lanaudière region), on June 22, 2020. The Bureau des enquetes independantes (Bureau of Independent Investigations, BEI), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, is investigating the killing.

The BEI report that provincial police were called to a home in Lavaltrie around 8:20 PM in response to an alleged domestic dispute between a man and a woman. Police removed the man from the home but escorted him back inside to retrieve his wallet and some belongings. According to the BEI, police claim that once inside the man took a knife and injured himself. In response, as is far too typical, an SQ officer shot him and killed him.

Once again, when faced with someone apparently in distress and believed to pose a harm to themselves, police take action to do worse harm to the person. They act hastily to kill them.

In the last two weeks alone, the BEI has opened six investigations into police violence, including the RCMP killing of Rodney Levi, a Metepenagiag First Nation man, in New Brunswick.

The BEI is not an independent investigative agency. They rely on other police forces to do their investigations. The Montreal police service will be taking part in the investigation of this killing. The very force that killed a 51-year-old man two days before.


Québec Provincial Police Shoot and Kill Brandon Christian (47) in St-Georges (Feb. 2, 2020)

Sûreté du Québec  (SQ), Québec’s provincial police force, shot and killed Brandon Christian (47), a former minor league hockey player, on the evening of February 2, 2020, in St-Georges, near Québec City. The Bureau des enquetes independantes (BEI), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, is investigating.

According to the BEI, provincial police received a call at around 6:35 from a woman reporting that her ex-partner was in distress, wearing a mask, and holding a bat. The BEI reports that police found a man, who they claim seemed confused, on the streets on St-Georges. Police used pepper spray and a taser on the man before shooting and killing him. He was pronounced dead at hospital.

The BEI is not an independent investigation group as they rely on police forces for assistance in their investigations. Officers of the Québec City police force are assisting in the investigation into the killing of Brandon Christian by the SQ.


Man Dies After Being Held Overnight by Quebec Provincial Police (SQ) in Trois-Rivières (Jan. 21, 2020)

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 Provincial Police (SQ) Shoot and Kill Distressed Man in Shawinigan (Jan, 17, 2020)

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.


Killer Cop Patrick Ouellet Gets 8 Months for Killing Five-Year-Old Nicholas Thorne-Belance

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.


Police Chase Leaves 20-Year-Old Dead in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec (Oct. 30, 2018)

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) Shoot and Kill 40-Year-Old Man in Inukjuak, Quebec (Sept. 5, 2018)

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.


Quebec Provincial Police Kill Teenage Boy Near Montreal (July 25, 2018)

Officers of Quebec’s provincial force, the Sûreté du Québec (SQ), shot and killed a teenage boy in the early morning of July 25, 2018. The shooting occurred in a public area along Route 104 in Lac-Brome, southeast of Montreal.

The Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Quebec, report that police responded to a 911 call at about 1:20 AM Wednesday morning. The BEI say police encountered the youth and attempted to speak to him over a loudspeaker. Officers then opened fire, killing the young man. While the victim was later allegedly found to be holding a handgun, the BEI cannot confirm that it was functional or that it was his.

Eight investigators have been assigned to investigate the killing. The BEI is not an independent oversight body and Montreal police technicians will be involved in the investigation.


Killer Cop Patrick Ouellet Found Guilty of Dangerous Driving for Killing Five-Year-Old Nicholas Thorne-Belance

Killer cop Patrick Ouellet has been found guilty of dangerous driving in the death of five-year-old Nicholas Thorne-Belance on Montreal’s South Shore in 2014. The Quebec provincial police (Sûreté du Québec, SQ) officer was in an unmarked police cruiser, tailing a suspect at more than 100 km/h in a 50 km/h zone, when he struck and killed Nicholas Thorne-Belance in Saint-Hubert.

In a ruling issued Thursday, July 19, 2018, in Longueuil, Quebec court Judge Éric Simard concluded there was nothing to justify the speed at which Ouellet was driving and that there were “inherent” risks in that activity.

Wrote Simard in his decision: “His failure to take steps to avoid such risks constitutes a marked departure from the standard of care that a reasonable person in the same situation would follow” (quoted in Turnbull 2018).

Ouellet reached a speed of 134 km/h on Gaétan-Boucher Boulevard in the period before the accident — and 108 km/h at the moment of impact. At the intersection of Gaétan-Boucher and Davis, Ouellet struck a vehicle carrying two children in the backseat. Nicholas Thorne-Belance was critically injured and died in hospital five days later (Turnbull 2018).

Ouellet had tried to claim in trial that the crash was unavoidable. The Crown argued that the driving was “objectively dangerous.”

Incredibly, the Crown had initially decided to not lay charges. That decision was only reversed in 2015 after Justice Minister Stéphanie Vallée ordered an independent review of the case amid growing community outcry. The first inclination of the state is always to protect the state. Community mobilization can affect that.

Sentencing is scheduled for October 22, 2018. Convictions for dangerous driving causing death carry a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison. We will see if a killer cop gets anything near that.

 

Further Reading

Turnbull, Jay. 2018. “Quebec Police Officer Found Guilty of Speeding, Causing Death of 5-Year-Old.” CBC News. July 19. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-officer-guilty-boys-death-1.4751032


Trial Begins for Killer Cop Patrick Ouellet in Death of 5-Year-Old Nicholas Thorne-Belance

On Monday, June 11, 2018, trial began for killer cop Patrick Ouellet of the provincial police force, the Sûreté du Québec (SQ), in the death of five-year-old Nicholas Thorne-Belance in 2014. Officer Ouellet is charged with one count of dangerous driving causing death in the case. Thorne-Belance was a passenger in his father’s car when it was struck by the unmarked police cruiser driven by Ouellet. Ouellet’s vehicle was traveling at more than 120 km/h in a 50 km/h zone in the Longueuil borough of Saint-Hubert, south of Montreal when he hit the vehicle the five-year-old  was in. The trial is scheduled to last two weeks.