NEWS

Alain Magloire's brother grapples with police shooting video

10/17/2014 12:33 EDT | Updated 12/17/2014 05:59 EST
The security tape footage showing Alain Magloire’s final moments before he was shot by Montreal police is painful for brother Pierre Magloire to watch.

"You’re seeing a man in distress," Pierre told CBC Daybreak on Friday.

The homeless man, who had mental illness, was shot four times in February near the downtown Montreal bus terminal after refusing to drop the hammer he was wielding.

Minutes before, he had used the hammer to smash the security glass at a hostel front desk after the clerk refused to return his $50 deposit to him.

Pierre Magloire said he watched all eight security tape videos that captured the events leading up to his brother’s death.

While difficult, he said it also justified his early criticisms of how police handled the altercation with Alain Magloire.

"It’s clear to everyone who looks at the video that when the police car arrived and struck him, it went from bad to worse, and he got shot," Pierre Magloire said.

Details come to light

Alain Magloire was the father of two girls and worked as a molecular biology researcher before developing a mental illness.

He began living on the streets in November 2013, just three months before his death, according to his brother.

No charges were laid in relation to his death.

Pierre Magloire knew some of the details of his brother’s death before the videos were released.

He knew police had called for a stun gun — a weapon not all officers are authorized to carry — but that it arrived just a few seconds after he was shot four times by police.

He also knew a police cruiser was somehow involved in his brother’s final moments.

However, he did not know to what extent. In the video, a cruiser is seen hitting Alain Magloire.

With hammer still in hand, he rolls off the hood of the car and appears to be thrown by a police officer.

Pierre Magloire’s interpretation of the event is that the officer slipped on the ice and grabbed Alain Magloire to stop himself from falling.

Alain Magloire appears to have raised the hammer in the tumble, then was thrown against the wall and shot by police.

Did it have to come to this?

Pierre Magloire said he did not necessarily believe the officers acted in bad faith. The officers perceived a threat to their fellow officer and fired.

"I think he thought he was probably doing the right thing," Pierre Magloire said.

But he has asked himself ever since that fateful day on Feb. 3 whether his brother even had to die at all.

He said Montreal police do not have the proper training to deal with individuals who are mentally ill.

"This is not the way to do it," he said.

Had they had the training, he told Daybreak host Mike Finnerty, they would have tried to calm him down rather than aim their weapons at him.

"What kind of society are we, to shoot people with [mental] illness like this?" Pierre Magloire said.

As a reaction to the death, Montreal police set up a mixed task force to better deal with mentally ill people in distress. The force also purchased more stun guns.

However, homelessness associated with deinstitutionalization remains a prominent issue on Montreal’s streets.

Even so, Pierre said, Alain Magloire should not have even been out on the street and living in homeless shelters in the first place.

"I want him to be the last," his brother said.

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