The mother of a Quebec teen shot by police officers last year was in Quebec City on Thursday as her petition demanding police officers be equipped with dash cams and body cams was presented to the National Assembly.
“After my son died, there were a lot of questions that I had and that I still have,” Tracy Wing told Global News.
In July 2018, 17-year-old Riley Fairholm was in crisis. According to Quebec’s Independent Investigations Bureau (BEI), Fairholm was walking down a main street in Lac-Brome brandishing an air gun, screaming. Someone called 911 and according to the BEI, the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) officers who responded told him to drop the weapon. The BEI says Fairholm instead walked toward them and officers opened fire.
“Police were asking me if I had filmed the incident when I arrived. They said they were going to ask the businesses in the area if they had cameras. I was like ‘What about the police cars?’ and they were like well they don’t have any. I was shocked,” Wing said.
Full of questions about the BEI’s version of events, she decided to start an official National Assembly petition demanding Quebec police officers be equipped with dash cameras, body cameras, and GPS. She collected over 1,500 signatures in her neighbourhood and online.
On Thursday, Liberal MNA Gregory Kelley presented the petition to the National Assembly.
“I was happy to go and be able to table this petition on behalf of Tracy Wing and her friends and family,” said Kelley.
The petition marks a step forward for Wing.
“It means that my voice is being heard and Riley is being spoken for,” Wing said.
Montreal police recently ruled out body cameras. The SQ studied dash cams in a pilot project that began in 2016.
“It lasted about a year. They were deployed in Val-d’Or and the Nicolet region,” explained SQ Captain Paul Leduc SQ. “We tested cars there, we gathered all the images that were taken, and now we are looking at whether or not we are going to get cameras for every police officer.”
It’s been over a year since that pilot project ended and no decision has been made — so what is causing the delay?
“I don’t have an answer for you,” Leduc told Global News. “Like any big project, it takes a lot of time. A lot of people are included in the reflection, and were going to some day have a decision and move forward from then on. That’s as specific as I will get.”
For Wing, the fight is far from over.
“I’m in this for the long haul. Whether it’s one month, one year, 10 years, I’m not going anywhere,” she said.