Death of Pierre Coriolan: the City continued, with police intervention “unprecedented violence”

News 8 February, 2018
  • Benoît Philie

    Wednesday, February 7, 2018 11:30

    Wednesday, February 7, 2018 11:34

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    The family of a Montreal man shot dead by the police in June continues in the City for almost 160 000 $ and broadcasts a video of the police action that it deems to be abusive.

    “We cannot believe that the police treat people this way. Pierre Coriolan […] was a magnet, a male coquet, who never came out without being dressed for the occasion,” said Johanne Coriolan, the niece of the victim, in a letter read to the media this morning.

    Mr. Coriolanus, a black man of 58 years old, died in the hallway of his apartment block on 27 June, after being electrocuted, hit with a stick and telescopic reached rubber bullets and possibly projectiles of firearms.

    The officers of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) had been called about a man aggressive who was in the process of raiding his apartment in a social housing neighbourhood in South-Central.

    Photo Benoît Philie

    Johanne Coriolan (left), niece of Peter Coriolanus. At his side, Maguy Métellus, the figure of the Haitian community, Will Prosper, a documentary filmmaker and a civil-rights activist.

    According to relatives, Mr. Coriolan had mental health problems and had to be expelled from the building 3 days later because of his behavior disturbing.


    From the beginning of the video filmed by a neighbor and presented at a press conference yesterday, you can see an altercation between 5 or 6 police officers and an armed man in crisis who screams in a corridor.

    A police officer ordered him to drop his weapon, possibly a screwdriver, and then we hear the sound of a gun electric pulse. Several shots of firearms that are not identified are also derived. Pierre Coriolan screams, kneels down and seems to make. And then two more shots are fired. The victim collapses without saying a word.

    One of the officers comes forward and hits the man several times with his asp baton to force it to drop a second weapon.

    The man stopped and a police officer noticed his injuries. The other officers remain silent. Mr. Coriolanus is dead on the spot, according to the family.

    “No chance”

    “The police have given him no chance. We are, therefore, a duty to denounce,” said Johanne Coriolan in his letter yesterday.

    Crying at the broadcast of the images, it was too emotional to answer the questions of the journalists.

    The a civil-rights activist, Will Prosper believes that Mr. Coriolan has faced a “firing squad”.

    “The family is that these images can be seen to prevent this kind of situation from happening again,” he said at the conference, recalling to the passage the death similar to Alan Magloire in 2014.

    The lawyer of the family, Me Virginia Dufresne-Lemire, has filed this morning a lawsuit against the City of Montreal for moral and punitive damages.
    “This violence is part of the continuum usual response that leads too often to the death of vulnerable people, black and struggling with mental health disorders”, one can read in the court document.

    The Office of the independent surveys (EIB), in charge of investigating the event, has still not unveiled its report.

    The SPVM can’t comment on the case as an investigation is ongoing.