Quebec’s DPCP clears officer in 2017 Nunavik police shooting
Prosecutors found officer acted appropriately in response to threat posed by suspect
Quebec’s Crown office has cleared officers in yet another shooting that involved the police in Nunavik.
A newly released decision by Quebec’s director of penal and criminal prosecutions (DPCP) has cleared Kativik Regional Police officers in the June 14, 2017, shooting of an Inukjuak man.
That day, police were called by family members of a 24-year-old man who reported that he was acting aggressively and throwing rocks at people.
When officers arrived on the scene, the man came out of a shed with a knife pointed to his own throat, according to the final report of the DPCP, released on May 15.
The suspect then approached officers, this time brandishing a large rock. Officers reported that the man was angry, threatening and yelling at police to shoot him.
KRPF officers said they tried to de-escalate the situation and drove their police vehicle away from the man to create distance.
But when the man started to approach officers again, he made motions to throw the rock towards them, and then pointed his knife at officers.
At that point, an officer fired at the suspect, hitting the man in his abdomen. The man was medevaced to a Montreal hospital, but survived the injury.
In its decision, the DPCP found that officers acted appropriately in their response to the threat.
“Considering the imminent danger he faced, the weapons used by the man and his failure to comply with the orders given, the police officer had reasonable grounds to believe that the force applied to the man was necessary for his protection against serious bodily harm or death,” the DPCP concluded in its decision.
The DPCP said a prosecutor has informed the individual of its decision.
When civilians are seriously injured or killed during a police altercation, Quebec’s Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (office of independent investigations) is responsible for looking into the circumstances.
The BEI then files its report to Quebec’s DPCP’s office, which decides if the police officers involved should face charges.
This is the fifth decision in recent weeks by Quebec prosecutors to clear the KRPF in deaths or injuries of Nunavik civilians that involved the police. You can read the other decisions here.