Cops to investigate cops in alleged brutality
The Quebec provincial police is taking up the file of four officers caught on film assaulting a man lying submissively on the ground.
The man was suspected of robbing a drug store in Trois-Rivières. A surveillance video shows him lying passively on his stomach when police walk up to him and start punching him for no apparent reason.
The officers were suspended with pay two weeks ago, but the video was only made public because of the bail hearing for suspect, Alexis Vadeboncoeur.
"These brutalities happen time and time again and it is only a few that are being made public," says Dan Philip from the Black Coalition of Quebec.
His organization has been fighting for change, including the creation of an independent bureau to investigate claims of police violence.
But, this case is still being handled by another police force. "We condemn it. We condemn it. We have condemned it time and time again," says Philip.
The Parti Quebecois has introduced a bill to create a independent system. The legislation will go to committee hearings next month.
The Public Security minister says no one wants to be indifferent towards violence. "That being said, was it justified or not?" Stéphane Bergeron says. "I don't want to get into that element. It's the subject of an investigation."