The mother of a Repentigny man, who died after police shot him three times in the stomach on Sunday, is blaming anti-Black racism in the city’s police for her son’s death.
Marie-Mireille Bence called police Sunday morning, asking them to bring her, Jean René Junior Olivier, 37, to the hospital because he was having a mental health issue.
Bence told CBC News that instead of helping him, six police officers arrived at her doorstep and shot him in the stomach. At the time of the confrontation, he was holding a dinner knife, she said.
“They’re criminals. They killed my son!” she said in an interview on Monday morning. “I called them for help and they showed up and killed him.”
Quebec’s police watchdog,(Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes or BEI,) which is investigating the shooting, said Repentigny police responded to a 911 call shortly after 7:30 a.m. for a “confused and disoriented” person reportedly armed with a knife in a residential area.
According to Bence, her son was having a mental health issue outside their home, and was holding a dinner knife at the time.
Bence says she and her brother asked Olivier to give them the knife. When he refused, she called the police, specifying that she wanted help transporting him to hospital.
When six police officers arrived, Bence says, they asked her and her brother to go inside their house and lock the door. She says she did as she was told, only to hear officers shoot her son.
Then, an officer came to the door to ask if Olivier was suffering from mental health issues, she says. The officer offered to accompany her to the Royal Victoria Hospital to be treated for shock, which she refused.
Bence questions why police chose to fatally shoot her son in the stomach instead of aiming for his leg or using a Taser to subdue him.