Tag Archives: SQ

Killer Cop Frédéric Fortier Made Critical Mistakes in Killing of Brandon Maurice: Policing Expert

The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) officer who killed 17-year-old Brandon Maurice has been identified as Constable Frédéric Fortier during the coroner’s inquest into the 2015 killing. An expert in police “use of force” strategies testified at the inquest that the provincial police officer made a number of critical mistakes. A witness to the killing, Chris Houle, who was in the car with Maurice when the teenager was shot has already testified that the shooting “should have been avoided.”

Constable Frédéric Fortier shot the unarmed Maurice at the end of a police chase through Messines, Québec. He and his partner, Constable Dave Constantin, were cleared of criminal wrong doing after an investigation, that was in no way independent and involved Montreal police in 2016.

The inquest has focused on how Fortier approached the car Maurice was driving at the end of a police pursuit. He approached aggressively with his gun drawn and decided to smash the driver’s-side window to open the car door.

Bruno Poulin, an expert with Quebec’s police academy, so not oppositional to police in any way, testified that the encounter should never have ended with that decision. According to Poulin, the officer narrowed his options by approaching the car overly aggressively and expecting he could physically force the driver from the car. A typical thug approach by police who expect they can impose their authority without question and, if necessary, kill to deal with any mess they create.

In Poulin’s words to the inquest: “He put himself in danger” (quoted in 2018). Poulin said it appears that SQ officers need some retraining. We know that training does nothing to change the power police hold in society and the fact that they can kill with impunity as part of the state’s assertion of its monopoly on violence.

In testimony the previous day Fortier acknowledged that he had gotten himself into trouble but said he would not change his decision to shoot.

Brandon Maurice’s family are considering civil action against the police.

 

Further Reading

Pfeffer, Amanda. 2018. “Expert Witness at Coroner’s Inquest Says Officer Who Shot Teen Made Mistakes.” CBC News. April 13. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/brandon-maurice-death-inquest-1.4617234

Advertisements

Witness to Police Killing of Brandon Maurice (17) Says it “Should Have Been Avoided”

Chris Houle, the person who directly witnessed the police shooting of 17-year-old Brandon Maurice told a coroner’s inquest that it should never have happened. Houle saw the entire interaction from the passenger seat of Maurice’s car. A Sûreté du Québec (SQ), Quebec provincial police, officer shot Maurice as the teen sat in the vehicle’s driver’s seat in the early morning hours of November 16, 2015. The Inquest started in April, 2018.

Said Houle, during his testimony before chief coroner Catherine Rudel-Tessier on April 10: “I may not know a lot about law and police processes; I’m not an expert. But this should have been avoided” (quoted in Pfeffer 2018). The young witness testified over a day and a half.

The killing occurred after a police chase ended about 10 kilometers at chemin de la Ferme and rue Patry, close to Lac Blue Sea in the municipality of Messines, Quebec. Houle testified that he and Maurice sat in the car as an officer approached the driver’s side with his gun drawn. At some point the officer smashed the window and reached into the car. Some type of struggle ensued over the opening of the car door. The officer fired his gun at Maurice shooting the teenager at point-blank range.

Brandon Maurice died in hospital. The pathologist who carried out the autopsy testified at the inquest that Maurice died from a fatal bullet wound through this neck.

Family and friends of Maurice have long insisted that police used excessive force during the encounter and have demanded answers about what happened that day and why police acted the way they did. The officer responsible was not charged for the killing, a typical and in no way surprising outcome when police kill civilians in Canada. The state protects the state.

There is no investigation of police in Quebec that could in any way be considered independent or autonomous. Incredibly Montreal police were asked by Quebec’s police “watchdog,” Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI), to conduct an investigation after the killiing. This is not independence. Not surprisingly that “investigation” decided not to charge the officer. In fact the Montreal investigators were allowed to testify at the inquest.

 

Further Reading

Pfeffer, Amanda. 2018. “Police Shooting Witness Tells Inquest Teen’s Death “Should Have Been Avoided.” CBC News. April 10. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/brandon-maurice-inquest-tuesday-1.4613032


Shooting a Man in Distress After 30 Seconds Ruled “Not Gratuitous” and “Measured” as Cops Who Killed Chad Murphy Let Off

Police in Canada kill a disproportionate number of people in mental distress. They continue to be deployed to engage with people experiencing mental distress despite the fact that history shows that police respond to those situations with a very quick use of lethal force.

In the case of the killing of Chad Murphy (45), it is estimated that from the moment Sûreté du Québec (SQ) officers opened the door to Murphy’s basement apartment in Île-Perrot, it took only 30 seconds for police to fatally shoot him.

On Monday, February 12, 2018, Quebec’s director of criminal and penal prosecutions (DPCP) announced it will not be filing charges against any of the officers involved in shooting and killing Chad Murphy on October 2, 2016. The SQ had been notified by Murphy’s sister Sharon that he was distressed and suicidal after fleeing in anger from a family dispute. She said at the time that she made the call to get him help not to get him killed.

Officers allegedly tried to talk with Murphy through his apartment door before opening it with a key provided by a neighbor. The DPCP report says officers saw Murphy sitting on his living room floor with a knife in hand and when he saw the officers he started cutting himself. When he stood up and walked toward the door the police shot and killed him. Thirty seconds to interact with and kill a man.

The DPCP ruled that in shooting a man in distress who was harming himself, after only 30 seconds of interaction, the officers involved did not use excessive force and should not face criminal charges. The DPCP statement said: “A legally acceptable use of force is one that is not gratuitous and is applied in a measured way. The intervention was legal and is based primarily on the duty of the police officers to ensure the safety and security of others.” The report does not say that Murphy was using his knife in a way that threatened anyone other than himself. It does not say how many shots police fired.

This is pure propaganda, copaganda. Shooting someone in distress and harming only himself is described as measured. And it does not show how the safety and security of others, the public for example, was threatened. This decision is the state protecting the state.

The DPCP’s decision to not lay charges in the killing of Chad Murphy is based on the investigation by the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI), the body that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province. The BEI is not independent and relies on police forces for their forensic investigation.

Since June of 2016, the BEI has investigated 72 cases. This includes 37 fatal police interventions and four deaths that occurred during police detention. Of all of the investigations completed and turned over to prosecutors so far, none have led to charges against a single officer. The state does indeed protect the state.


Dates Scheduled for Coroner’s Inquest into Killing of Brandon Maurice (17) by Provincial Sûreté du Québec

On January 23, 2018, it was announced that the public coroner’s inquest into the killing of 17-year-old Brandon Maurice by Sûreté du Québec (SQ) officers in the Outouais will be held over the period of April 9-13, 2018. Maurice was shot and killed by SQ officers following a police vehicular pursuit on November 16, 2015. The inquest was initially planned to be held in the fall of 2017.

The inquest will be held at the Palais de Justice in Gatineau. It will be overseen by deputy chief coroner Luc Balouin. Among those now named as being called for testimony are Dave Constantin and Frédérick Fortier of the Sûreté du Québec and Detective-Sergeant Mélanie Simard of the Montréal Police Service, which oversaw an investigation (by no means independent) into the killing.


Quebec Provincial Police Kill 63-Year-Old Man and 58-Year-Old Woman in Collision (Jan. 3, 2018)

Police in Canada have been killing people on the roads, whether in police chases or a DUI hit and run (as occurred in Winnipeg last year). In 2017 police in Canada killed 5 people through police chases along with the one hit and  run killing. On the third day of 2018 they have already killed two in a vehicular crash.

A 63-year-old man and a 58-year-old woman are dead after a Quebec provincial police (Sûreté du Québec, SQ) cruiser collided with the vehicle they were in on Wednesday afternoon, January 3, 2018, in the Laurentians. The province’s investigative agency, ​the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI), is investigating the crash and killings In a statement, the BEI reported that a police car collided with an oncoming vehicle on Highway 323 near Saint-Rémi-d’Amherst, 20 kilometers southwest of Mont-Tremblant. Seven BEI investigators have been assigned to the investigation along with a forensic specialist and a crime reconstruction specialist with the Montreal police service. Thus, as is the case in Quebec, the investigation is not independent or autonomous since active police officers play a substantial part in deciding what happened in cases of police harm to civilians.


Sûreté du Québec Shoot and Kill 36-Year-Old Man at Danford Lake, Quebec (Dec. 28, 2017)

Police in Quebec are ending 2017 in bloody fashion. On Thursday, December 28 they shot and killed a 36-year-old man at Danford Lake, Outaouais, about 250 kilometers northwest of Montreal. That same day officers in the northern Inuit community of Umiujaq shot and killed a 22-year-old man.

Quebec’s Independent Investigations Bureau (BEI), the unit that examines police harm to civilians in the province, reports that at Danford Lake, a man called police around 10 PM Thursday evening to say his son was unwell and had left his house with an arrow and an iron bar. Another call was placed by someone suggesting that if officers did not arrive in 20 minutes he would kill the father. Sûreté du Québec officers allegedly arrived around 11 PM and located a man with a bow and arrow and an iron bar (It is not clear of the father said he only had an arrow or a bow and arrow).  Officers then fired their service weapons at the 36-year-old. He was taken to hospital and pronounced dead there. None of the police accounts has been independently confirmed publicly.


Quebec Killer Cop François Laurin Sentenced to One Year for Killing Éric Rompré

François Laurin, an officer of the provincial Sûreté du Québec, has been sentenced to one year in jail for dangerous driving causing death, eight months to be served concurrently for dangerous driving causing bodily harm, and two years of probation in the vehicular killing of Éric Rompré and injuring of Marie-Ève Bossé in June 2012. Laurin had been found guilty of these offenses in January 2017. As part of his sentence, Laurin will also have to serve 150 hours of community service. He is prohibited from driving for 30 months.

Officer Laurin collided with a car carrying Éric Rompré and his partner Marie-Ève Bossé while racing to support a fellow officer at the Montebello Rockfest. He was traveling at 180 km/hr at the time. Rompré (25) died as a result of the crash, while Bossé is still suffering from the serious injuries that she sustained, including head trauma.

The Crown prosecutor had called for a two-year sentence for dangerous driving causing death, 16 months to be served concurrently for dangerous driving causing bodily harm, and a four-year driving ban. Laurin, a 28-year veteran of the force has been suspended without pay by the Sûreté du Québec.