Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS Johanne Coriolan, a family member of Pierre Coriolan, cries during a news conference in Montreal, Wednesday. Pierre Coriolan’s family announced today they are suing the City of Montreal, alleging police were abusive and used unnecessary force in its efforts to subdue him.

Family of man killed during arrest last June by Montreal police sues city

MONTREAL — A disturbing cellphone video that allegedly captures a Montreal police intervention prior to the fatal shooting of a black man last June reveals officers used disproportionate force, lawyers representing the man’s family said Wednesday.

Lawyers for Pierre Coriolan’s sisters told a news conference they were suing the City of Montreal, alleging police were abusive and used unnecessary force in their efforts to arrest the 58-year-old man in June 2017.

The sisters also released the video shot by Coriolan’s neighbour in order to encourage a public debate about the use of police force, their lawyers said.

Virginie Dufresne-Lemire, one of the lawyers representing the family, said within the span of just over one minute, police used Taser guns, rubber bullets, a service weapon and a telescopic baton on the man.

“They used abusive and disproportionate force against him, and they gave him no chance,” she said.

In a news release following the June incident, the independent watchdog that investigates police-involved shootings said Coriolan was distressed and holding a screwdriver in each hand when police responded to a disturbance complaint at a housing complex in Montreal’s gay village.

Police first used a Taser and rubber bullets on Coriolan, the watchdog reported, but eventually drew their service weapons when those methods failed to subdue him.

Dufresne-Lemire said the lawsuit, filed on behalf of two of Coriolan’s sisters, is seeking $50,000 for each of them for moral damages and a further $50,000 in punitive damages.

Alain Arsenault, also on the family’s legal team, said he had little faith in the watchdog’s probe and said a lawsuit is the best avenue to obtain justice for Coriolan.

Arsenault said the decision to release the video, which was obtained over the summer, was prompted in part by frustration over the slow pace of the investigation and the watchdog’s refusal to provide updates to the family.

The four-minute video, which begins partway through the police intervention, opens with the sound of yelling followed by a crackling sound, and then three loud bangs.

Just Posted

Red Deerians brave the chill to spend Family Day in the new Celebration Plaza

The 2019 Canada Winter Games hub attracted a lot of parents and kids

Stettler RCMP search for suspects

Attempted theft of an ATM

Sign cost a concern for some in Red Deer

Installation complete on south end welcome signs

Historic win for Team Nunavut at Canada Winter Games

Four years in the making boiled down to a collection of firsts… Continue reading

Canadian women beat US 2-0 to win inaugural Rivalry Series

DETROIT — The inaugural Rivalry Series was created to give Canada and… Continue reading

Don Cherry blasts Hurricanes as ‘jerks’; team responds with his words on T-shirt

TORONTO — Don Cherry’s latest rant about the Carolina Hurricanes and their… Continue reading

Country star Miranda Lambert reveals secret marriage

NASHVILLE — Country star Miranda Lambert celebrated Valentine’s Day weekend with the… Continue reading

‘Black Panther’ costume designer blazes trail to inspire

LOS ANGELES — Ruth E. Carter is a black woman blazing a… Continue reading

Chicago police: Jussie Smollett assault case has ‘shifted’

Chicago police said Saturday the investigation into the assault reported by Jussie… Continue reading

Still-active human rights case speaks to lasting homophobia in Canada: activists

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Just over 14 years ago, the government of… Continue reading

Alberta missionaries among the Canadians heading home from riot-stricken Haiti

MONTREAL — A Canadian couple who had to leave Haiti due to… Continue reading

Man charged in daughter’s death in hospital with self-inflicted gunshot wound: police

Police say a man charged with first-degree murder in the death of… Continue reading

Most Read