When an event involves a police officer and a citizen, and the citizen is seriously injured, injured by a firearm used by a police officer, or dies, the chief of police of the police force involved in the event must immediately notify the Minister of Public Security. The Minister determines whether an independent investigation should be conducted.
The investigation of an event starts as soon as BEI is assigned to it and includes a certain number of actions provided for in Section 289.1 of the Police Act. The following chart explains the process for all independent investigations conducted by BEI.
BEI initiates an independent investigation of an event
management assigns the case to the supervisor/coordinator who gathers the information from the event and determines the resources and support required to complete the investigation.
The supervisor/coordinator forwards the case to the supervisor/investigator on duty. He/she contacts the support police force and request the specialized services required to carry out the investigation. He/she ensures that the scene of the event is secured until the arrival of the investigation team.
The supervisor/investigator assigns a lead investigator and a scene investigator. He/she moves with his team to the scene of the event as soon as possible. He/she also assigns two investigators to meet with the family of the person involved.
When they arrive at the scene of the event, the BEI supervisor/investigator and lead investigator:
- Get a preliminary version of the situation from the authorities involved
- Contact the coroner if a death has occurred
The investigative team works to:
- Gather all evidence at the scene of the event
- Search for witnesses of the event
- Interview witnesses
- Respond to any special requests from the supervisor/investigator or lead investigator of the case
- Complete the examination of the scene and the collection of evidence on site
The scene of the event is released by BEI once all evidence has been collected. Evidence may continue to be collected away from the scene of the event for a period of several weeks to several months.
One BEI investigator is assigned to liaise with the designated family member of the deceased or seriously injured person. They keep the family informed of the investigation followup.
The lead investigator analyzes the entire case to ensure it contains all the details required.
- The lead investigator writes a report and submits it to the supervisor/investigator.
- The final report is sent to the Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales, who determines whether a charge will be laid.
- If a death occurred, the report is sent to the corner, who determines whether recommendations on better protecting human life need to be made.
- If a charge is laid against one or more police officers involved, the investigators will assist the Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales during the subsequent legal proceedings.