Family of Montreal man killed by police in 2017 reaches settlement with city

Johanne Coriolan, left, a family member of Pierre Coriolan, and activists Wil Prosper, right, and Maguy Metellus attend a news conference in Montreal, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. GAC

The family of a man shot dead by Montreal police has reached a settlement with the city in connection with a lawsuit they filed over his death, family lawyers said Thursday.

Pierre Coriolan died on June 27, 2017, when police shot him after they responded to a disturbance call at his home.

Coriolan’s two sisters sued the City of Montreal, and a trial was set to begin on Thursday.

Montreal law firm Arsenault Dufresne Wee said in a statement its clients were satisfied with the settlement and didn’t wish to comment further. Terms of the settlement were not divulged.

A Quebec coroner’s report into Coriolan’s death released in February said officers who responded to the call acted with outdated methods and had not received the most up-to-date training on de-escalation tactics and on dealing with people in crisis.

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Six police officers responded to a call regarding a man who was allegedly smashing things inside an apartment. Officers found Coriolan, 58, sitting on a sofa alone holding a screwdriver and a knife.

The coroner found that instead of opting for a defensive posture, two officers began yelling at Coriolan simultaneously, provoking what the coroner described as a “chain reaction.” Police were not told ahead of time that Coriolan was alone in the apartment, which would have triggered a different response, the coroner said.

Click to play video: 'Quebec coroner calls for better police training after Pierre Coriolan’s death'
Quebec coroner calls for better police training after Pierre Coriolan’s death

The police intervention lasted just over five minutes, with officers using a stun gun, batons and rubber bullets before opening fire three times.

A pathologist ruled Coriolan died of abdominal trauma from a gunshot.

In 2019, Quebec prosecutors concluded the officers who fired on Coriolan would not face charges, following an investigation by the province’s police watchdog, the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes.

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