Marie-Mireille Bence is still waiting for answers regarding the death of her son at the hands of Repentigny police officers.
It's been a year to the day that Jean René Junior Olivier was shot dead by the Repentigny police, not far from his family home. His mother, Marie-Mireille Bence, who heard the shots, is still awaiting the results of the investigation by the Bureau of Independent Investigations (BEI).
“What I see in front of me is how my son left. I still feel a burden because I was the one who called 911,” said Ms. Bence, who couldn't hold back her tears in an interview with CBC.
Police officers who murdered my son are at home and going about their business […]. They're fine, while I'm suffering all alone and I'm not fine. Every day I cry, she adds insistently and in tears.
Whatever my problems, I'm never going to call 911 again. No, it's over for me, says the mother of the 37-year-old father of two boys.
On August 1, 2021, Mrs. Bence called 911 to get help for her psychologically distressed son. She wanted him to be hospitalized. According to the BEI, Jean René Junior Olivier had a knife in his possession and was threatening towards the police. It was under these circumstances that the policemen shot him.
They [the policemen] asked me to go into the house and lock the doors, and c it was there that they murdered him. I heard gunshots, but I couldn't imagine it was that, says Marie-Mireille Bence. Why did they ask me that?
Ms Bence claims a police officer came to her after the fact to tell her they had fired three bullets into her son's stomach. It's really hard, and it's unacceptable, she says.
“What I' I would love to see this never happen again in our community. Because I'm hurting, and I don't want another parent going through what I'm going through. »
— Marie-Mireille Bence
The BEI concluded its investigation in May. Ms. Bence was informed of this in June, without being able to know the results of the said investigation, she said. She also claims that since then she has had no news.
The BEI told me […] that the file is in the hands of the Directorate of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions [DPCP]. I am told the same thing: "The investigation is ongoing", she laments.
I don't know if there will be any accusations, only God knows, she continues.
“If I had been outside with my phone in my hand and I had filmed what happened, then I could be confident of the continuation of the file, but here it is; is between [the police]. »
“We are not respected,” Ms. Bence lamented, referring to the black community. It's not easy, she believes, especially since the government is unwilling to acknowledge systemic racism. That's a wound, a wound that doesn't heal. If he does not recognize it, we will not act, she fears.
The Repentigny police are the subject of several accusations of racial profiling against the black population.
Marie-Mireille Bence is waiting for strong measures so that no other person in her community is killed like her son.
In Repentigny, you don't see anyone, I stay most often at home, says Ms. Bence, but points out that she has the support of her family and friends.
After the tragedy, I didn't even want to go out, it's as if in my head everyone is watching me, says Ms. Bence, who also says she thought about leaving Repentigny . But for me, it's not a good deal at the moment, she explains.
She wants an action plan to avoid the drama associated with police interventions. This is why it recommends that these be supervised by associations or independent people.
And when reminded that a plan is planned by the Repentigny police department, whose officers will now be accompanied by six social workers during interventions related to mental health issues, she waits to see it to believe it.