Tag Archives: violence

High Speed Police Chase Leaves 22-Year-Old Dead in Saguenay, Quebec (May 17, 2018)

A 22-year-old man was killed during a high speed police chase on May 17, 2018. The chase ended when the fleeing vehicle crashed into an oncoming vehicle. The chase and crash happened the morning of May 17, 2018, in Métabetchouan-Lac-à-la-Croix, 225 kilometers north of Quebec City, on the southern shore of Lac Saint-Jean, in Saguenay.

Quebec’s Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI), the body that examines police interventions connected to deaths or injuries in the province, is investigating the chase and crash. They report that the man, who was driving a Honda Civic, was going 123 km/h when a police officer decided to follow him. One witness says that is when the driver sped up. No public explanation has been provided for why the officer decided to follow the vehicle. The BEI reports that the police chase lasted for about seven kilometers. One other person was slightly injured while another was treated for shock.

The BEI has assigned eight investigators to the case. The BEI is not an independent body and relies on other police forces for assistance with investigations.

Advertisements

Police Shoot and Kill Man at Ferry Terminal in Nanaimo (May 8, 2018)

RCMP and Island District Emergency Response Team officers were involved in shooting and killing a man at the Departure Bay ferry terminal in Nanaimo, British Columbia on the morning of May 8, 2018.  Both the Independent Investigations Office of BC, the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, and the BC Coroners Service have been called to investigate the killing.

Initial reports, which have not been independently and autonomous confirmed, suggest that RCMP officers were attempting to arrest a man who was suspected in a car theft in another part of the province. The vehicle was reportedly stopped and the man allegedly exited when he was shot by police. He later died of the injuries inflicted by police.

One witness, former Saanich mayor Frank Leonard, who was waiting to board the ferry at the time of the killing, told CBC News that he heard several, perhaps as many as eight, shots fired.

Another witness, Ed Pearce, a former West Vancouver police officer, saw the police operation unfold and also reported hearing as many as eight shots. He also said he heard a loud bang and looked over to see a vehicle being rammed by what he believed was an Emergency Response Team vehicle. He reports that he then heard a “huge explosion” that he said sounded like a flash or stun grenade. Other witnesses also reported hearing the loud explosion.


Inquests into Separate Police Killings of Indigenous Men Adrian Lacquette (23) and Evan Grant Caron (33) in Manitoba

On Tuesday, April 24, 2018, two inquests were called into separate police killings of civilians in Manitoba which happened within a week and a half of each other in September 2017. The chief medical examiner in Manitoba has called an inquest into the police shooting and killing of 23-year-old Adrian Lacquette of Winnipeg on September 13. Manitoba Justice announced a separate inquest into the shootings and killings of 33-year-old Evan Grant Caron, who was fatally shot by police 10 days after the shooting of Adrian Lacquette.

Both victims were Indigenous men. This fact is reflective of the colonial and racist violence of policing in Manitoba (and Canada more broadly). At least 11 of the known 19 people killed by police in Manitoba between 2000 and 2017 were identified as Indigenous.

The inquests cannot assign blame or lead to arrests and police are under no obligation to follow any recommendations that might result from either inquest.


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


BEI Investigating Death of Man During Police Drug Raid (Mar. 29, 2018)

The  Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI), the agency that examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, is investigating the death of a man during a police drug raid in Laval, Quebec on March 29, 2018. The BEI reports that according to initial information, a 36-year-old man died after falling from a seventh floor apartment building during the raid. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The BEI is not independent of police and relies on officers from other forces for its investigations.


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


Plainclothes Calgary Police Officer Shoots and Kills Man (April 9, 2018)

An on-duty plainclothes officer of the Calgary Police Sevice shot and killed a man, said to be in his late-twenties, in the Bridgeland neighborhood late in the evening of April 9, 2018. Initial reports say the killer cop was on his break when he encountered the victim near the intersection of 2 Avenue and 6 Street Northeast in the city’s northeast at around 11:30 PM. During the encounter the officer discharged his firearm striking and killing the man. The victim was declared dead at the scene. The shooting took place near a playground.

The killer cop is said to be an 11-year veteran of the Calgary Police service. He has been placed on 30-day administrative leave.

Tellingly, Lee Kaminski, president of the Calgary Police Association, has  commended the killer cop, who remains unnamed publicly.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), which examines cases of police harm to civilians in the province, is investigating the killing.