NEWS

Alain Magloire inquest resumes in Montreal after 2-month break

03/09/2015 05:28 EDT | Updated 05/09/2015 05:59 EDT
A coroner's inquest into the police shooting death of Montreal homeless man Alain Magloire resumed today after a two-month break.

This phase of the inquest into the death of the 41-year-old mentally ill man will focus on Quebec's social and mental health services.

Magloire was shot four times by police and died in February 2014 in an altercation near the Montreal Berri bus terminal in downtown Montreal.

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.

The inquest began in January with a round of testimony aimed at determining the circumstances leading up to Magloire's death.

Documents showed Magloire sought help from medical services that same month, telling staff at Montreal's Sacré-Coeur Hospital that he wanted to kill someone and "wanted to talk to a social worker or psychologist."

Eye-witness testifies

The first person to testify today at the Gouin courthouse was Perry Bisson, a city worker who witnessed the altercation between Magloire and police.

Bisson told the inquest he was driving to the nearby GrandeBibliothèque when he noticed police cars and officers walking after AlainMagloire. Bisson said he made a U-turn on Berri Street and parked his car to watch the interaction. 

Bisson said he saw Magloire throw his hammer into the air and catch it several times, and gesture toward police, but according to Bisson, Magloire did not appear threatening. 

The inquiry resumes tomorrow, when police experts will take the stand. Paulin Bureau, director of police training at Écolenationalede police duQuébec will speak first. Then the coroner will hear again from Bruno Poulin, an expert in the use of force.

Poulin already spoke at the inquest in January, when he took the stand and testified that officers should have called for a stun gun and ambulance immediately – but otherwise, they responded properly in their ultimately fatal confrontation with Alain Magloire.

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