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Family awarded $30,000, court rules Quebec police watchdog statement wasn't impartial

Last Updated Jun 9, 2021 at 3:44 pm EDT

File image of Bureau des enquetes independantes. (CREDIT: Bureau des enquetes independantes, bei.gouv.qc.ca)

MONTREAL –The family of a Quebec man who died after a 2017 police intervention has been awarded $30,000 in damages after suing the province’s police watchdog.

Koray Kevin Celik, 28, was intoxicated and his parents wanted to prevent him from getting behind the wheel when they called 911 seeking help just after 2 a.m. on March 6, 2017 in the western Montreal neighbourhood of Ile-Bizard.

Four Montreal police officers were cleared of wrongdoing in his death after a probe by the Bureau des enquetes independantes, which investigates when police are involved in situations involving injury or death.

At the heart of the civil case brought by the family was an August 2018 statement by the watchdog signalling the end of its probe but only providing the police version of what happened.

The officers responded to the call and attempted to subdue Celik, including with a baton, but Celik’s parents have said they witnessed the officers use excessive force, repeatedly beating their son with their feet and knees before he stopped breathing.

A Quebec court judge sided with the family, ruling this week the watchdog’s statement was not neutral or impartial.