Public inquiry into Riley Fairholm’s death begins

The public inquiry which aims to shed light on the death of Riley Fairholm, who died during a police intervention in Lac-Brome in July 2018, opened Monday morning at the Sherbrooke courthouse.

• Read also: Death of Riley Fairholm: more transparency requested

In psychological distress, the 17-year-old was shot dead by a police officer with a projectile to the head.

Police say the victim was brandishing a handgun. However, this weapon turned out to be an air gun.

According to a friend of the teenager, he had been suffering from discomfort for several weeks.

In the hours leading up to the tragic events, Juliette Blais exchanged text messages with him. Riley Fairholm even sent him via Snapchat a picture of a gun he was holding in his hand on the street. Worried, she asked him if she could call for help, if he wanted her to call the police. His last response was that it was not necessary, that they were coming.

Security had to be increased for the holding of this public inquiry chaired by Me Géhane Kamel, because police officers who must testify would have been the subject of death threats from people who have nothing to do with the procedures.

Six Sûreté du Québec officers intervened at the corner of chemin Knowlton and rue Victoria around 1:44 a.m. on the night of July 28, 2018.

They were responding to a call made to 911 for the presence of an individual in crisis and armed.

Barely 61 seconds elapsed between their arrival and the shooting of the policeman who was approximately at a distance of approximately 30 meters.

Riley Fairholm’s mother testified on Monday about the tragedy she experienced and the many questions that still remain unanswered almost four years later.

On the evening of the tragic events, Tracy Wing discovered a letter written by Riley in her room.

Worried, she started looking for him. She stumbled upon the police roadblock by chance. Informed that her son had died, she believed for a long time that he had been hit by a car.

It was only 90 minutes later, insisting on a policewoman who was on watch at the hospital.

“I managed to keep him (Riley) alive for five years and you killed him in five minutes?” Tracy Wing reportedly told the policewoman who agreed.

“Were you afraid of him?” Ms. Wing would then have asked her, to which the policewoman would again have approved with a nod.

This investigation unfolds with a certain emotional charge even though almost four years have passed since the tragic events.

On Tuesday, day 2, the witnesses will be the six Sûreté du Québec police officers who intervened on the scene.

This investigation is not intended to lay criminal or civil liability on anyone; In this regard, it should be noted that following the investigation by the Bureau of Independent Investigations, the Criminal and Penal Prosecutions Department has already announced that it will not file any charges against the police officer who fired on the teenager.

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