Death of a man : Peacekeepers did nothing wrong

Par Vicky Girard
Death of a man : Peacekeepers did nothing wrong
Peacekeepers. (Photo : (Archives))

Following an investigation by the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI) about a police intervention that ended with the death of Gerald Alexander Marquis, in December 2019 in Kahnawake, the Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales (DPCP) announced that no accusation will be placed, on March 3rd

After examining the report produced by the BEI, the DPCP “concludes that the analysis of the evidence does not reveal the commission of an offense by the Kahnawake Peacekeepers”, reads a press release from the DPCP.

The BEI, which unveiled its report in August 2020, indicated that eight investigators were deployed, supported by two forensic identification technicians from the Service de police de Montréal (SPVM) to shed light on the event.

« In this case, the BEI gathered 19 civil witnesses testimonies. Facts reported by the agent involved and 20 agents directly linked to the event were also analysed”, says the BEI.

The content of all the interviews were given to the DPCP.

“Tragedy”

Kyle Zachary, spokesperson for the Peacekeepers, reacted to the news.

“It was a terrible situation and we’re glad that no further people were injured. We’re proud of the way we handled the situation. It was not a good outcome, but I believe that we handled the situation as best as we could, and the report confirms that”, he affirms.

He adds that the Peacekeepers are moving forward and “hope that the family can have some kind of closure as they begin to heal from this tragedy”.

When there is a traumatic event, the Peacekeepers have a debrief with everyone involved to talk about the incident, “and get out any feelings that they’re feeling”.

It was done two or three days after the intervention in this case.

“People that lived through them are going to have to bear the scars for the rest of their life. We have a good system in place for our officers to deal with these post-traumatic events”, shares Kyle Zachary.

He could not confirm how long it took exactly for the officers involved to go back to work, but they all needed clearance from a doctor to do so.

“Everybody seems to be as fine as they can be after this. They took the time they needed”, he says.

Recall of the facts

On December 8th, 2019, at 6:30 P.M. the Peacekeepers received a call indicating that a man was disoriented and was damaging his house. Agents entered through the unlocked door while announcing their presence. They exited when asked by the man, who was armed.

Peacekeepers then tried to communicate with him, without any progress for3 hours. He came out of his residence with his weapon pointed at officers and shot multiple times. He went in his car and the officers heard a gunshot. Gerald Alexander Marquis, 30 years old, had turned his weapon against himself. His decease was confirmed at the hospital.

 

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