MONTREAL — The family of a man shot dead by police officers at an east-end Montreal apartment in 2017 is asking the Quebec government to pay for a lawyer to represent them at an upcoming coroner’s inquest.
A lawyer who says he’s working for Pierre Coriolan’s family without pay says the officers involved in the shooting will have multiple lawyers representing them at the Feb. 17 inquest, and the family deserves fair representation.
The Quebec legislature unanimously adopted a bill in 2013 that included a clause stating victims’ family members could receive financial aid during the inquest process. But seven years later, the regulations that would establish the criteria for receiving that compensation and bring the law into effect have not been adopted.
Quebec’s Crown prosecutors’ office announced last March that the officers would not face charges Coriolan’s death.
The 58-year-old was distressed and holding a knife and a screwdriver when six police officers were called to his apartment in June 2017. The Crown says police first tried to use a Taser and rubber bullets against the man when he moved towards them, but later fired their service weapons when that failed to subdue him.
A spokesman for Quebec’s public security minister said the government is analyzing the request.
The man’s family filed a $150,000 lawsuit against the city in 2018, alleging police were abusive and used unnecessary force in their efforts to arrest Coriolan, who had a history of mental illness. That case is still outstanding.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan 30, 2020.
The Canadian Press