Riley Fairholm’s mother, Tracy Wing, is celebrating a win in the case of her son’s death: Quebec’s police watchdog, Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI), admitting they made a mistake.
“For them to make a correction… It’s pretty big,” Wing said.
On Monday, the BEI published a correction to the initial statement on the case of the fatal shooting by police of the 17 year-old.
“He was given first aid” the correction said.
BEI spokesperson Esther Tremblay told Global News it was a transcript mistake.
The BEI initially said that Riley was given CPR but Wing says she found out he didn’t get it.
Wing says she got the information from statements given by the police officers that were involved and the ambulance report.
So, last month, she sent a letter to the BEI asking for the truth to be told.
“He was an organ donor. They weren’t able to save his organs and that’s because CPR wasn’t done. I don’t think it would be saved his life but those are things that were important to me, that were important to him,” Wing told Global News.
“Boy I would’ve loved to have been able to have a call like that from a mom who received a heart or a liver or anything. But I didn’t get that chance.”
Riley died in July of 2018 after police shot him near his home in the Eastern Townships.
According to the investigation, Riley was in mental distress, waving an air gun.
Police officers shot him 60 seconds into the intervention.
No charges were laid against the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) officer who shot him.
Since then, Wing was left with many unanswered questions, saying she wants the BEI to be more transparent.
“It’s important that the facts are said and that it’s the truth… because what else isn’t true?” Wing said. “They need to do better.”
The Ligue des droits et libertés, a Quebec civil liberties group, agrees.
“We think the BEI is having a very heavy lack of transparency, a huge lack of transparency,” said Lynda Khelil, a spokesperson for the Ligue des droits et libertés.
“We are asking the BEI to release comprehensive and anonymized summaries of their investigation reports. We think those summaries of the investigation reports are really important for the families and the public to know how the investigation was conducted.”
As for Wing, she wants all deaths related to violent police interventions investigated by the Quebec’s coroner.
She wants families like hers to have access to a full version of what happened.