The household of a person from Repentigny, Que., Who died after police shot him thrice within the abdomen on Sunday, blame racism towards blacks within the metropolis police for his loss of life and demand justice.
Marie-Mireille Bence, the sufferer’s mom, known as the police on Sunday morning and requested them to take her son Jean René Junior Olivier, 37, to the hospital as a result of he had a psychological downside.
“He advised me that he noticed individuals round him who needed to harm him,” Bence and her household advised reporters at a press convention on Monday afternoon.
As an alternative of serving to him, Bence stated, six policemen got here up on her doorstep and shot him within the abdomen. He was holding a eating knife when the police arrived, however the household stated he dropped it.
“He threw the knife on the ground after which they shot him. They shot him thrice,” Bence stated.
“They’re criminals. They killed my son,” she stated. “I known as you for assist and also you confirmed up and killed him. I discover it absurd as a result of there have been different methods to take care of it, to get him underneath management.”
Quebec Police Watch Canine, Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI) investigates the capturing. Repentigny police responded to an emergency name shortly after 7:30 am for a “confused and disoriented” one that was reportedly armed with a knife in a residential space.
In line with Bence, she and her brother requested Olivier to offer them the knife. When he refused, she known as the police and stated she wanted assist transporting them to the hospital.
“I did not need him to harm himself, however look the place that left me,” she stated.
“Blacks don’t have any justice”
When the officers arrived, Bence stated, they requested her and her brother to go in and lock the door. She stated she did as she was advised solely to listen to gunshots.
Then an officer got here to the door to ask if Olivier had any psychological well being issues, she stated. The officer supplied to accompany her to the Royal Victoria Hospital for shock remedy, which she refused.
Dolmine Laguerre, the sufferer’s cousin, stated her household is now searching for solutions and duty for the capturing.
“Black individuals haven’t got justice nowadays,” stated Laguerre. “We’re not secure in Repentigny … our pores and skin colour speaks for us.”
Bence asks why the police shot her son within the abdomen as an alternative of aiming at his leg or utilizing a taser to overpower him.
“He is not violent. He hasn’t put anybody’s life at risk,” she stated.
Bence stated she utterly misplaced confidence within the police after what occurred to her son.
“Tomorrow, when I’ve one thing, do you assume I will name 911? By no means, ”she stated. “I might reasonably die in my nook than name her once more.”
“Repentigny police, they do not need to see black individuals,” stated Bence. “911 isn’t for black individuals.”
CBC Information has requested feedback from Repentigny and the Quebec authorities. Final yr the Repentigny police employed a consultancy to assist with persistent racial profiling issues.
In an announcement launched on Sunday, the town stated, “We perceive that this example may be particularly tough for blacks who’re already deeply involved about our ministry.”
Quebec Anti-Racism Minister Benoit Charette and Public Safety Minister Geneviève Guilbault refused to touch upon the incident whereas the BEI is investigating.
A historical past of profiling
The incident comes after a collection of racist profiling complaints towards the Repentigny police.
In July, the Quebec Human Rights Fee discovered that police racially discriminated towards Leslie Blot, a black man who was stopped, handcuffed and ticketed in 2017, when he was within the passenger seat of a automotive outdoors his residence with balloons for his kids hyped up.
In its resolution, the fee stated the Repentigny police had turned Blot right into a “sufferer of discrimination within the type of profiling based mostly on the intersectionality of motives of race, pores and skin colour and gender”.
His case is the fourth time that the Human Rights Fee has dominated towards Repentigny.
At a quick press convention on Monday afternoon, the Repentigny police division stated it needed to “rebuild bridges to the black group”.
“The sensitivity is maybe not as current as we wish it to be,” stated police chief Helen Dion. Racial profiling is a ubiquitous subject, she stated, and the police are working with organizations and creating methods to make sure that police interventions are freed from bias or discrimination.
Dion stated the deadly capturing of Olivier was the primary of its type within the historical past of the service and the hearts of the members had been together with his household.
After the choice towards Repentigny within the Blot case in July, the town declared in an announcement that it was creating an motion plan, dedicated itself to a strategy of “organizational transformation” and would announce a collection of concrete measures in the summertime.
However Fo Niemi, government director of the Heart for Analysis-Motion on Race Relations in Montreal, stated Olivier’s loss of life will widen the hole between Repentigny residents and the police.
“The state of affairs may have been resolved otherwise and escalated into one thing actually tragic,” he stated.
“The query is, can we actually depend on the BEI to conduct the investigation? As a result of the company has not been very profitable at being clear and delivering the outcomes that many individuals anticipate.”
For extra tales concerning the experiences of black Canadians – from racism towards blacks to success tales throughout the black group – see Being Black in Canada, a CBC venture that black Canadians may be pleased with. You’ll be able to learn extra tales right here.