Parents boycott coroner’s inquest into son’s death
The family of Koray Kevin Celik, who died during a police intervention, flatly refuses to participate in the coroner’s inquest to denounce « the breach of trust » in a system which is not independent and which seeks, according to them, to protect the police.
The 28-year-old young man died in front of his parents on March 6, 2017 when police officers from the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) tried to subdue him at the family home in Île-Bizard, in the west of Montreal. He would have suffered a cardiorespiratory arrest. It was his parents who had called 911, the young man being in crisis.
“My son received a death sentence,” his father dropped Monday morning at the Montreal courthouse as the coroner’s inquest was to begin.
Cesur Celik announced through his lawyer his decision, and that of his wife June Tyler, not to testify during the investigation.
In front of journalists, he explained that he wanted to denounce the “circus” of the process by recalling several of its stages which were far from rhyming with independence or with justice.
He laments that after the death of his son, the police were left together instead of being separated to be met individually by investigators from the Bureau of Independent Investigations (BEI), responsible for shedding light on the deaths or injuries that arise during police interventions. The four police officers involved were later exonerated by the BEI.
Mr. Celik denounces that the system grants families only $20,000 to hire a lawyer for the purposes of the coroner’s inquest, while the police officers who participate « have unlimited means », a state of affairs « unfair » that he had already highlighted in the public square.
Like his wife, he received a summons to appear before the coroner, but he decided not to set foot in the room.
Coroner Luc Malouin, head of the public inquiry, described the family’s position as « damage », and refused to make any further comments to journalists.
Last July, Judge Louis Riverin of the Court of Quebec ruled that the BEI had been biased in the press release issued at the end of its investigation by presenting only the police version. He ordered him to pay $30,000 in damages to the Celik family.
More details will follow.
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