After the acquittal of the police officer who caused the death of Bony Jean-Pierre, the family of the deceased “intends to initiate civil proceedings”, she said in a letter from a lawyer, while she said to herself “Devastated by the outcome of the trial” and that the “justice system has let them down, like so many other people of color.”
• Read also: The GTI policeman acquitted in the death of Bony Jean-Pierre
Police officer Christian Gilbert, a member of the Tactical Intervention Group (GTI) of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal, was acquitted of manslaughter on Thursday at the Montreal courthouse.
The drama unfolded in March 2016, during a strike against drug traffickers associated with street gangs of Red allegiance. Considering the risk that the group would be armed, the GTI agents broke down the door of the house. Bony Jean-Pierre had tried to escape through the window, and in front of his possible escape, Mr. Gilbert hit his head with a polymer projectile, while he was aiming at his hips. The blow was fatal to him.
“Although the consequences of this event remain unquestionably tragic, dramatic and catastrophic, it has not been shown that Christian Gilbert engaged his criminal responsibility by using unjustified force”, commented Judge Yvan Poulin during the reading of his judgment.
“Having had a doubt of not hitting my target, I would never have taken the shot,” explained the police officer during the trial. At that point, I had to take action. ”
The explanations of the police officer and the arguments of the judge did not satisfy the family of Mr. Jean-Pierre.
“Police actions should not be unlimited in their use of force,” said their lawyer, Michael N. Bergman. The degree of force must remain circumscribed by the principle of proportionality. In the present case, Bony Jean-Pierre’s maneuver did not constitute a serious danger for the police or the citizens, and above all did not justify the headshot which followed, representing an obvious manifestation of excessive force by the police. from Officer Gilbert. “
“The family unfortunately believes that Bony Jean-Pierre has become another statistic and that this situation sends a message that the senseless deaths of people of color at the hands of the police will continue to occur without any consequences”, added Me Bergman.
The death of Bony Jean-Pierre had given rise to riots in the Montreal-North district, where the event took place. The neighborhood police station had been vandalized.