Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

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63-Year-Old Man Killed in High Speed Police Chase in Trois-Rivières, Quebec (July 19, 2018)

High speed police chases are known to be dangerous and deadly. Yet police continue to engage in them even where the fleeing person is only suspected of harmless or minimally harmful activity. And people continue to be killed as a result.

On July 19, 2018, a 63-year-old man was killed during a police chase in Trois-Rivières, Quebec. Initial reports suggest that the incident occurred around noon as the car that the victim was riding in was hit by a vehicle driven by someone in a high-speed pursuit by police.

According to Quebec’s bureau of independent investigations (Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes, BEI), the agency that investigates cases of police harm to civilians in the province, the chase started during a police crackdown on people not wearing seat belts and involved police pursuing a vehicle with an expired license plate. For that police were willing to throw all care to the wind—and a person was killed as a result.

The BEI has assigned 12  investigators to the case.


ASIRT Confirm Whitecourt, Alberta, Victim Shot and Killed by RCMP (July 3, 2018)

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), the body that examines cases of police harm to civilians in Alberta, have confirmed that a man who died during an encounter with police near Whitecourt, Alberta on Tuesday, July 3, 2018, was in fact shot and killed by RCMP. Initial reports had put some distance between the police firing their weapons and the man’s death, suggesting that he was found dead sometime later and not clearly stating that he died as a direct result of police shooting him. This is yet another example of why we  can never accept police accounts and reports of their violence. All police will lie. Police will lie always.

ASIRT report that RCMP officers had been looking for a vehicle linked to an undisclosed “incident” that allegedly occurred Monday, July 2, in Valhalla, 60 kilometers northwest of Grande Prairie. It is further reported that around noon on July 3, officers spotted a vehicle parked at the Chickadee Creek rest stop on Highway 43, about 20 km northwest of Whitecourt.

A man in the vehicle appeared to be asleep in the driver’s seat, which was reclined. Officers apparently approached the vehicle and discharged their firearms, striking and killing the man. He was pronounced dead at the scene.


RCMP Fire Several Shots, Man Dead Near Whitecourt, Alberta (July 3, 2018)

A man was left dead after RCMP fired several rounds during a traffic stop at a rest area about 20 kilometers northwest of Whitecourt, Alberta. Whitecourt RCMP claim that officers tried to stop a vehicle on Highway 43 and as they approached the vehicle discharged their firearms. An adult male involved in the police shooting was later found dead. No further details have been released publicly and the police claims have not been independently confirmed.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians, is investigating the shooting.


Zachary Fairbairn Identified as Man Who Died During Police Chase in Gatineau Quebec (June 21, 2018)

The Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI), the agency that investigates cases of police harm to civilians in Quebec, have named Zachary Fairbairn (28) as the man who died during a police foot chase in Gatineau, Quebec on June 21, 2018. The BEI have not publicly named the officers involved in the fatal chase.


Barrie Police Tase, Kill Olando Brown (32) (June 22, 2018) (Black Lives Matter)

Black lives matter. In Canada as in the United States Black people are disproportionately killed by police, though less attention is given to lethal police violence in Canada compared with the US. On June 22, 2018, Olando Brown, a thirty-two-year-old Black man, a father with an 11-year-old daughter, died during an arrest by police in the town of Barrie, Ontario.

The arrest took place around 2:30 PM near the Tim Hortons donut shop at the Five Points hotel in downtown Barrie. According to witnesses Brown was tased multiple times by Barrie police officers. Questions are being asked why he was not given immediate medical attention rather than being processed by Barrie police. Brown went into medical distress while being booked by police at the police station. He was pronounced dead at hospital. The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the agency that investigates cases of police harm to civilians in Ontario, is examining Brown’s killing.

The violence inflicted by police against Black people in Canada has long been disproportionate. The killing of Olando Brown, a Black man, must be placed within this context. Olando Brown’s aunt, Barbara South, says her nephew was known as someone who would always lend a helping hand and suggests that he would have never died in custody if he was white. She is very clear in her assessment of what police did to Olando Brown:  “My nephew was murdered. There’s no doubt about that” (quoted in CTV 2018).

A cellphone video taken by a witness shows officers physically confronting Brown and using tasers to take him down. The person holding the camera says Brown was trying to lay down and had already been hit with a taser. Brown is seen getting off the ground, where he appears to be punched and hit with a taser again. Witness Lance Freeman reports: “They asked him to see his ID and before he even had a chance to pull his ID out, the one guy just kicked him, (and) the other guy just starting Tasing him,” said Lance Freeman, who witnessed the arrest” (quoted in CTV 2018).

A man, who identifies himself only as a longtime friend of Olando Brown is among those asking questions about police actions. In his words:

 

“I knew him personally and he was a very kind person, like he would give the shirt off his back. It’s an unfortunate situation and he didn’t deserve it. To be honest with you, I don’t know the incident. All I know is apparently the cops came down on him when he was over there (behind the bushes behind Tim Hortons) and that’s the story. From that it was just Taser after Taser after Taser. I kind of had faith in the police here because this was supposed to only happen in America, not here. It shouldn’t happen anywhere, but you only see things like that on the U.S. news, but here especially in small-town, nice Canada, it’s not right.” (quoted in Gibson 2018)

 

Brown’s friend asks why medical attention was not given following the multiple deployments of taser:  “What is the protocol when you Taser someone and especially after that many? Why wasn’t he just taken to hospital for a check-up? He would have been in handcuffs, he wasn’t going anywhere and the police could have seen if he was OK and then processed him” (quoted in Gibson 2018).

He also noted the over-policing of people in that area of Barrie. There is no way for people to trust police given their actions he concludes. In his words: “But, now how we are supposed to feel when the cops come around and try to talk to us, how we supposed to trust them? It’s unfortunate all around because a man died who didn’t deserve it and now people may start to feel uneasy” (quoted in Gibson 2018).

The reason for the arrest has not been disclosed by Barrie police and has not been confirmed publicly.

 

The Video (Warning: Disturbing Content)

 

Further Reading

CTV. 2018. “Ontario Police Watchdog Investigating After Man Dies in Custody.” CTV News June 25. https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/watchdog-investigating-after-man-dies-in-custody-1.3987769

Gibson, Shawn. 2018. “Friends of Man Who Died After Being Tasered on Friday Shocked, Upset.” Barrie Today June 24. https://www.barrietoday.com/police-beat/friends-of-man-who-died-after-being-tasered-on-friday-shocked-upset-964787


Gatineau Police Investigated for Death of 28-Year-Old Man (June 21, 2018)

Gatineau, Quebec, police are under investigation after a 28-year-old man was struck and killed by a vehicle during a police chase early in the morning of Thursday, June 21, 2018. The Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI), the agency that investigates cases of police harm to civilians in the province, report that Gatineau police received a call at around 1:20 AM regarding a man trying to steal vehicles at Casino du Lac-Leamy. According to the BEI, a police officer saw a man who matched a description and approached the man, causing him to flee on foot. The BEI say that the officer ran after the man, who was then struck by a vehicle on boulevard Montclair. None of these claims have been independently confirmed publicly.

The BEI is not an independent investigative body. It relies on police from other forces to carry out investigations into police. In this case the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) are providing two officers to participate in the investigation.