After six days in prison, a Montrealer accused of disarming and shooting a police officer was released Wednesday, with his head held high and under the moving gaze of his pregnant wife, after seeing the evidence against him collapse thanks to the discovery a surveillance video.
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“We consider that it is no longer possible to support, in the current state of affairs, the accusations against [Mamadi Fara] Camara ”, declared the Crown on Wednesday, thus putting an end to the ordeal of the Polytechnique researcher.
Photo QMI Agency, Joël Lemay
Handcuffed in the box of the accused, Mr. Camara, 31, could not restrain his tears at the announcement. Released on the spot directly from the courtroom, he joined his relatives who had prepared a guard of honor in the corridor of the Montreal courthouse. He then left the building through the large doors, looking dignified despite his nights spent in a cell.
A “police shooter”
Since last Thursday, Camara was identified as a “police gunman” who, after being arrested for a cell phone while driving, allegedly hit a patroller with an iron bar, before disarming him and opening fire in its direction.
But the eagerness of the police to arrest the one who attacked one of their own seems to have led them down the wrong path, on a man whose profile absolutely did not correspond to a violent criminal. The man, a doctoral student and laboratory manager at Polytechnique, was arrested and charged with attempted murder, among others.
However, according to our information, Camara could well be the one who had called 911. For nebulous reasons, the investigators were however convinced that it was the shooter who was trying to fool them, even if the latter would have tried in vain. to explain that it was not.
Fortunately for Camara, the discovery of a surveillance video from the Quebec Ministry of Transport has completely changed the situation. Because after the disclosure of this new evidence, the Crown abruptly ended the case.
According to our information, Camara had neither blood nor gunpowder on him following his arrest.
Real suspect off
“What we understand is that there was a major error in the identification [du suspect] “, For his part commented the defense lawyer, Me Cédric Materne.
Since Camara is obviously not the correct suspect, it means the real shooter is still on the run. The policeman’s weapon was also not found.
If the Montreal police did not want to comment on the case, the Crown nevertheless assured that the investigation was still ongoing, and that it was evolving rapidly.
The unforeseen turn taken by the case nevertheless sent shock waves through the SPVM police officers.
At Polytechnique, which had suspended Mr. Camara for the duration of the investigation, we were relieved of his release and indicated that he would be met with a view to his reinstatement.
Camara’s relatives demand an apology
Those close to Mamadi Fara Camara could not help but cry out in relief and applaud his release on Wednesday, they who were convinced of his innocence.
“We knew it wasn’t that kind of person. We were dumbfounded by his arrest, ”said one of his friends in front of journalists’ cameras, but who did not want to give his identity.
On Wednesday, they were nearly twenty of his relatives to be at the Montreal courthouse to support him. Several mentioned that they still do not understand how he could have committed such an act.
“She’s a person involved in the community, who studies and gives a course,” Manson Condé said.
Another described him as a “simple, respectful man of exemplary kindness”, while his stepfather praised his son-in-law’s qualities.
In the afternoon, Mr. Camara’s family and friends were informed by defense lawyer Cédric Materne that a “major development” was to be announced in the case, without further details.
For nearly two hours, they waited anxiously to learn more. Hearing that he was released from all accusations, several relatives raised their arms to the sky, looking victorious, while others wiped away tears of relief.
Several of the relatives mentioned in Newspaper that they hoped that the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) would make an official apology to Mamadi Fara Camara.
“It had been from the beginning that he claimed his innocence to the police, they never listened to him,” said one of his friends.
The SPVM did not respond to our interview request.
“I expect that light will be shed quickly on what happened. […] We must have clear answers on what happened in order to preserve the public’s confidence in police work, ”declared the mayoress of Montreal, Valérie Plante, admitting“ troubled ”by the situation.