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Koray Kevin Celik died at the age of 28.
The Canadian Press
The Quebec Court of Appeal has upheld a lower court ruling that the family of a Montrealer who was killed by police was harmed when the Office of Independent Investigations (BEI) issued a biased press release.
The family of Koray Kevin Celik sued the organization responsible for monitoring the work of the province's police forces, arguing that its press release violated his honor and dignity, which caused him psychological distress.
A trial judge ruled in favor of the family in 2021 and awarded $30,000 in damages to Mr. Celik's parents and brothers.
The provincial government appealed this decision, arguing that the BEI, which investigates whenever a person other than an on-duty police officer is killed or seriously injured during a police operation, had done nothing wrong.
And even if that had been the case, these mistakes would not have caused harm to the family, argued the government.
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The Court of Appeal, however, rejected these two arguments.
In this case, the judge could reasonably conclude that the BEI committed a fault by publishing a press release which denotes a lack of impartiality, wrote Judge Simon Ruel in his decision rendered on 18 December, endorsed by the two other judges who were considering the case.
According to Judge Ruel, publishing a press release to present certain facts while retaining only the police version of events gave the appearance of bias.
Also, the trial judge concluded that there was a causal link between the publication of the press release and the attack on the property. honor, psychological distress, anxiety, loss of enjoyment of life and humiliation felt by the respondents.
J. Ruel found some errors in the trial judge's decision, but he argued that none of them were correct. ;was serious enough to warrant a change in the decision.
Mr. Celik, who was 28 years old, died after his parents called the police to his family home in west Montreal in March 2017.
< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">The parents then wanted to prevent their son from going out to drive while he was intoxicated.
In its press release detailing what happened next, the BEI alleged that Mr. Celik had #x27;is shown to be aggressive after the arrival of the police. He allegedly refused to follow orders and continued to resist when three police officers tackled him to the ground.
It was subsequently that the police noticed that Mr. Celik was unconscious.
Instead, his parents said that when the police arrived at the house, an argument began after Mr. Celik yelled at a police officer to turn off his flashlight.
The parents alleged that the officer then hit their son with the flashlight, then with a baton, before three other officers pinned him to the ground and did not throw blows.
According to the parents' version, Mr. Celik stopped breathing when the police officers used an electric gun, even though their son was already pinned to the ground.
A coroner's inquest was held on this event. Coroner Luc Malouin concluded that police used unnecessary force, but noted that no evidence of the use of an electric gun was found .
A pathologist attributed Mr. Celik's death to intoxication/adverse reaction to a mixture of&# x27;alcohol, medications and drugs of abuse in the context of excited delirium syndrome.
Several medical groups, including the American Medical Association, have rejected the existence of excited delirium. Last year, the British Columbia Coroner's Service said it no longer recognized excited delirium as a cause of death.
No police officers have been charged in connection with Mr. Celik's death.