The following from the Justice For Anas Coalition in Montreal:
On December 1st, 2005 — more than one year ago — police officer Bernier from Station 25 shot and killed Mohamed Anas Bennis, a 25-year old Canadian of Moroccan heritage. Anas was killed outside a neighborhood mosque at the corner of Côte-des-Neiges and Kent, just minutes from his home. The police claim that Anas inexplicably attacked them with a kitchen knife. However, Anas’ family and friends find this hard to believe. They are frustrated by the attitude of the authorities who refuse to make the evidence available, including a videotape that captured the incident.
Indeed, this entire case has been marked by evasiveness, inconsistent versions of what occurred, and a refusal to answer the most basic of questions, and this from all levels of government.
On Thursday May 3rd people have an opportunity to ask some of these questions to members of the Montreal’s Public Security Commission, which will be meeting at Montreal City Hall. This is the body of politicians and police officials who pretend to be accountable for what the police do.
The Justice For Anas Coalition invites all supporters to come to this assembly to demand answers to our questions, and support the Bennis family in its ongoing quest for justice.
Representatives of the Coalition will be there to ask questions, but supporters can also do so. If you are not sure of what to ask, we have some suggestions below.
Please note that in order to be allowed to ask a question one must be there to sign in at 6:30pm – the assembly opens at 7pm, and can last an hour or more.
>>>>>> Montreal City Hall
>>>>>> 275 Notre Dame East
>>>>>> (corner Gosford, Champ de Mars metro)
>>>>>> Thursday, May 3rd
>>>>>> To ask a question show up by 6:30 pm!
Some questions that you can ask:
* On December 1st 2005 Mohamed Anas Bennis was shot and killed on the corner of Kent and Cote-des-Neiges by police officer Bernier of Station 25. On December 5th 2005 the police officer charged with investigating this killing announced that there was a security video of the shooting, shot by the cameras at the Bell building on Kent and Cote-des-Neiges. Does the commission know why this security video has never been made public, and has the commission made any efforts to locate it? If not, why not?
* On December 1st 2005 Mohamed Anas Bennis was shot and killed on the corner of Kent and Cote-des-Neiges by police officer Bernier of Station 25. The police claimed that Anas was attacking Bernier with a kitchen knife. If this is so, then why was this knife never shown to the public or to members of the Bennis family? Have members of the commission made any efforts to locate this knife? If not, why not?
* On December 1st 2005 Mohamed Anas Bennis was shot and killed on the corner of Kent and Cote-des-Neiges by police officer Bernier of Station 25. The police claim that Anas Bennis was attacking them with a knife and was shot in self-defense. If this is so, why did the autopsy show that the bullets entered Mr Bennis’ body from the top down and from two different angles? Have members of the commission looked into the inconsistency? If not, why not?
* On December 1st 2005 Mohamed Anas Bennis was shot and killed on the corner of Kent and Cote-des-Neiges by police officer Bernier of Station 25. Almost one year later it was announced that charges would not be brought against officer Bernier. We would like to know if officer Bernier is still employed at Station 25, and if so in what capacity?
* Over the past twenty years more than thirty people have died at the hands of police in Montreal. What if anything does the commission plan to do to make sure that these police killings do not continue?
* Racial profiling is a widespread problem across Canada, and people from many different Montreal communities feel unfairly singled out by the police. Does the Montreal police force keep statistics on the race or ethnicity of people questioned, detained, ticketed, or charged by Montreal police officers?
La Coalition Justice pour Anas