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Family of man killed by Repentigny police says lawsuit incoming

By Tina Tenneriello, Posted Feb 28, 2023, Feb 28, 2023, 11:51AM EST.

The family of a Black man who was fatally shot by two Repentigny police officers in 2021 says it intends to take legal action against the city.
The family of Jean-René Junior Olivier says it plans to sue the City of Repentigny “for damages caused for the loss of their son.”
Olivier was fatally shot on Aug. 1, 2021 after his mother called 911 because of the psychological state of her son.
“The family of Jean-René Junior hopes this lawsuit will bring changes in the how the Repentigny police will intervene with Black people with mental-health issues,” the family’s lawyer said in a statement.
Meanwhile advocates are calling for the Quebec public security minister to order a public inquest by the chief coroner’s office to determine the cause and circumstances surrounding the man’s death.
The Red Coalition anti-racism group and the Lakay group based in Repentigny are hoping for answers.
“We believe that a public inquest into Junior’s death will expose the systemic racism and prejudice that has been allowed to fester and escalate within the SPVR (Service de police de la Ville de Repentigny), which may have contributed to his untimely death,” said Joel DeBellefeuille, the director and founder of the Red Coalition, in a statement.
On Feb. 16, 2023, Quebec’s Crown prosecutor’s office (DCPC) advised the public that no criminal charges would be laid against the officers involved in the case. According to the DCPC’s analysis of the investigation prepared by Quebec’s independent police watchdog (BEI), the use of force and firearms was justified.
Olivier’s death shook the Black community in Repentigny, who have accused local police of several instances of racial profiling.
“The death of Jean René Junior Olivier is the culmination of an escalating series of racial incidents over the last 10 years between the SPVR and Repentigny’s Black community,” added Pierre Richard Thomas, president of Lakay.
“In the midst of Black History Month, his family and the entire Black community of Repentigny are expressing their feelings of injustice, sadness, great disappointment and lack of trust in the City of Repentigny and its police service.”



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