PRESS RELEASE – For immediate release
8th annual vigil in Montreal to commemorate victims of police killings
Montreal, October 21st, 2017 – The Justice for the Victims of Police Killings Coalition is inviting media representatives to the 8th edition of our annual commemorative vigil. This event will take place on Sunday, October 22nd 2017, starting at 5PM in front of the building of the Montreal Police Brotherhood (480 Guilford street).
The purpose of the vigil is to REMEMBER the victims who lost their lives to police violence and abuse and SUPPORT their families in any way we can.
This year, we want to send our solidarity to the family of Brandon Maurice, who was killed by the SQ in Messines on November 16, 2015, during a police chase. A coroner's public inquest on his death should start in November 2017. The Justice for Victims of Police Killings Coalition wrote a letter to Martin Coiteux, minister of Public Security, this past August, to support the demand of the Coalition against Repression and Police Abuse (CRAP) that the State covers the legal fees of the family of Brandon Maurice for this inquest. More often than not, coroners only copy-paste the police's version of a police killing and blame the victim, all the while saying that their role is not to determine guilt.
We also want to mention the fact that SQ officer Éric Deslauriers was found guilty in September of manslaughter (not murder), which is the exception that proves the rule of police impunity. On January 22nd, 2014, Deslauriers shot twice and killed David-Hughes Lacour in Ste-Adèle. After this, some SQ officers said they wanted to patrol without their weapons to show their solidarity with their colleague. For once, we strongly support this protest tactic and wish that it was extended to all officers. In this way, we would surely see less people getting killed by police!
We also remember that the trial of officer Simon Beaulieu of the Quebec city police is currently taking place. Beaulieu killed Guy Blouin on September 3rd, 2014 when he hit him with his car while Blouin was riding his bicycle. Of course, the officer is saying that he has done nothing wrong. Yeah, right.
Since the Bureau of Independant Investigations (BEI in french) started its work on June 27, 2016, more than 20 people lost their lives at the hands of police in the province of Quebec. Out of 64 so-called 'independant' investigations lead by the BEI, none lead to charges against police officers so far.
The families of people killed by the police, along with their friends and their allies, are organizing the 6th annual commemorative vigil to remember those who have lost their lives at the hands of the police. These families, who face an uphill battle in uncovering the truth and obtaining justice for their loved ones, need our support.
We organize together on October 22 to coincide with the National Day of Protest in the United States organized by the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation, which has been mobilizing every year since 1996 (info:www.october22.org).
Created in 2010 in Montreal, the Justice for Victims of Police Killings Coalition is comprised of the family, friends and allies of Anas Bennis, Claudio Castagnetta, Ben Matson, Jean-François Nadreau, Quilem Registre, Gladys Tolley & Fredy Villanueva.
For more information: www.facebook.com/justiceforvictimsofpolicekillings
The Justice for Victims of Police Killings Coalition