Police Brutality | Montreal drops appeal against compensated victim

The city of Montreal is dropping its appeal of a judgment that ordered it to pay more than $115,000 to a man victim of police brutality, ending a court case that lasted nearly 10 years.

Posted at 2:03 p.m
Updated at 3:50 p.m

Frederik Xavier Duhamel

Frederik Xavier Duhamel
The press

“We very much welcome this new position from the Plante administration, even though the initial decision to appeal the verdict was met with a lot of stress and concern,” Didier Berry said on Facebook earlier this week.

“It’s also ridiculous to think of all the people involved in maintaining this context of injustice for me,” he said in an outraged interview, referring to the human and material resources the city has mobilized over the years to defend the perpetrators.

Mr. Berry sued the city and police involved in his violent arrest in October 2012. He was then beaten by three officers and then charged with assault and obstruction of police work after filming another arrest at a bar exit.

Last January, the Supreme Court ruled “that the arrest of Mr. Berry was no more justified than the use of force.” Judge Marc St-Pierre ordered the city and three agents to pay the plaintiff $115,440.38 in material, moral and exemplary damages, plus interest and additional compensation.

Mr. Berry had since been acquitted of the assault and disability charges.

The defendants initially appealed the verdict, but withdrew it in February without giving any reason, according to a preserved document The press. The 43-year-old wants to speak to Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante today “to try to understand what happened.” Though pleased with the outcome, he still says he’s “worried” when they think of the other victims stuck in the maze of the system.

“Dossiers like mine or those of [Mamadi] Camara is just the tip of the iceberg,” he said.

“Pending the legalization of the case, the City of Montreal will not comment,” a spokesman said simply over email in response to our questions. When we indicated that the file appears to be out of court since the appeal was withdrawn, publicist Mélanie Dallaire noted that the city “retains a pre-emptive right and will not be making any further comments on the matter.”

It was also not possible to get replies from the Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) before the publication of this article.

“I think now is the time to look at our policing system and our grievance system,” argued Professor Ted Rutland, a public safety expert from Concordia University who was also part of Mr. Berry’s support committee.

Professor Rutland deplores the prohibitive costs of civil litigation for victims of police violence. He is also opposed to the ethics system, which is more accessible but would, in his opinion, be heavily biased in favor of agents.

Mr. Berry considers himself lucky to have closed this case. “I hope it will encourage other people to denounce such actions, but most importantly it will discourage the police [de récidiver]. »

Leave a Comment