February 29th, 2024

Quebec appeal court upholds ruling finding that police watchdog issued biased release

By The Canadian Press on January 1, 2024.

MONTREAL – A Quebec appeals court has upheld a ruling that found the province’s police watchdog issued a biased news release harming the family of a man who was killed by officers in 2017.

The family of Koray Kevin Celik sued the agency, known as the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes, arguing that a press release outlining the result of its investigation was inaccurate and only included the police’s version of events.

A provincial court judge sided with the family in a 2021 decision, and awarded Celik’s parents and brothers a total of $30,000 in damages.

The provincial government appealed the ruling, arguing the BEI had done nothing wrong and even if it had, those faults hadn’t harmed the honour or dignity of Celik’s family.

Court of Appeal Justice Simon Ruel found that while the trial judge had made some errors in his ruling, his conclusions were valid.

Celik, 28, died after police were called to the family home in western Montreal by his parents who were worried he would drive while intoxicated.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 1, 2024.

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