Quebec police watchdog closes investigations into 2 Nunavik deaths

Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes forwards reports to province’s director prosecutions; no word on possible charges

Nunavik Police Service’s headquarters in Kuujjuaq is pictured here. Quebec’s provincial police watchdog announced Aug. 2 it had concluded separate investigations into two Nunavik police-involved deaths. (Photo by Jeff Pelletier)

By Jeff Pelletier - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Quebec’s provincial police watchdog has concluded its investigations into two deaths involving Nunavik police, according to separate news releases issued Tuesday.

The Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes, which probes deaths and injuries when police are involved, sent the two reports to the province’s director of criminal and penal prosecutions on July 7 to determine if charges should be brought against any officers involved, the releases said.

The investigations were called after two separate deaths that involved interactions with police, one in Kuujjuaq and the other in Akulivik. Tuesday’s news releases were both originally written in French.

In the first incident, according to a previous news release from Dec. 18, 2021, the Nunavik Police Service officers in Kuujjuaq responded to a call from a family member of a man in his fifties who was described as suicidal and in possession of a firearm.

Police attempted to communicate with the man over the phone and in person, the release said, before the man turned the weapon against himself and was later pronounced dead at a health centre. The BEI opened its investigation the next day.

In the second incident, on March 4, the BEI investigated the death of a 33-year-old woman in Akulivik that occurred earlier that day.

In March, in an interview with Nunatsiaq News, a family member identified her as Louisa Qiluqi.

The BEI news release, which did not identify the woman, said she died after she was arrested for allegedly being intoxicated on a public highway. Quebec’s office of independent investigations does not make its reports public because it says they contain senstivie information and witness testimony that has not been proven.

She was found unconscious in her cell, surrounded by other detainees, about five hours after she was incarcerated, the BEI said at the time.

Nunatsiaq News contacted the office of the director of criminal and penal prosecutions seeking more information on its investigation and when a decision on possible charges might be made, however no response had been received at the time of publication.

 

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