The new boss of the Office of independent investigations (EIB) believes that it is his investigators who should make the light on all the issues of allegations of criminal involving police officers, whether they are in service or not.
“We will enforce [the competent authorities] what we can offer as a service to see if the bank could be responsible for this in the future. Me, I think so,” said Wednesday, Pierre Goulet, during an interview granted to the Journal.
Trained as a lawyer, Me Goulet has been appointed head of the EIB last December, but had not made any media coverage up here.
During his five-year term, the successor of Me Madeleine Giauque wants to improve the public’s confidence – and that of the police – in his body.
“I want the public to know what is done beyond District 31, where there is a nasty investigator of the EIB in their offices. It is also important that the police on that investigation to know that we are competent and impartial. It is not true that the [investigators] civilians do not know anything because they did not have a police force,” has shown the director.
At this time, the EIB has a mandate to shed light on all police actions in which a civilian dies or suffers serious injury.
The agency also investigates sexual assaults committed by members of the peace and on criminal allegations involving complainants of aboriginal origin.
Me Goulet is of the opinion that the tasks of the EIB could be extended to all records of criminal acts committed by police officers, whether they are in service or not.
Moreover, this is the suggestion made by mr. Michel Bouchard, in his report arising from the administrative inquiry on the section of the internal affairs of the Montreal police (SPVM), in December 2017.
The SPVM had found himself in hot water after a report of J. E. where two ex-high ranking officials have argued that they have been spied upon by their employer.
“We are independent, we do not have a hierarchical link with the other police. A police officer who is investigating someone in his own police force could be affected by the image of his organization if there are any charges. We are beyond considerations of images”, explained the boss of the EIB.
Not there to condemn
Detractors who would say that no peace officer has been charged after more than a hundred independent studies completed up to now, Ms. Goulet responded that the objective of the EIB is not to convict police officers.
“I find it flat and credibility of the EIB is vitiated because there has been no charges laid. This is a severe judgment. It does not investigate a crime, investigation of an event. It does not investigate following a complaint and you are not looking for a suspect [at any price]”, he detailed.
“I would take umbrage if the DPCP returned half of our records because they are fucked up, that the evidence is poorly harvested or non-existent, but this is not the case,” he concluded.
Who is Pierre Goulet ?
- 56 years old
- Married and the father of a teenager
- Lawyer, member of the Bar since 1989
- Has worked for 27 years as a Crown prosecutor
- As a prosecutor, he was specialized in cases of organized crime and murder
- Named patron saint of the EIB in December 2019, for a term of five years
What the new boss of the EIB had to say about…
1 – incidents with racist overtones
The murder of George Floyd, this african-american killed by a police officer from Minnesota that he has a knee on the neck for long minutes
“If an event like what happened to George Floyd had arrived in Quebec, we would be deployed that’s for sure, regardless of the color of his skin. We treat all individuals the same way. It’s part of our mandate.”
The relations sometimes strained between aboriginal people and the police
“We have an aboriginal liaison officer, who is herself aboriginal. It has the mandate to build relationships with all First nations to explain our mission, both in respect of independent investigations as a criminal. I am fully agree to hire an investigator to be a native, but I don’t have at the moment on the eligibility list. They must be willing and able.”
2 – The investigation Oath, regarding the allegations of leaks to media at UPAC
Launched in 2017 by the former head of the Unité permanente anti-corruption, Robert Lafrenière, to the suite of reports on a survey concerning the ex-prime minister Jean Charest.
Transferred to the EIB of October 2018.
The meetings of the witnesses had been suspended during the pandemic, because the building where are the offices of the investigators has been closed to the public by its owner.
“The meetings have been resumed for a week. During the pandemic, the 14 investigators working on this huge folder have done a lot of analysis, they have not wasted their time. I believe that there are more than 50% of the work that is being done, but an investigation, it is scalable, it may lead elsewhere. It is possible that there is nothing criminal, but that it leads to recommendations to the department of public Safety, for example.”
3 – The EIB in figures
- Since July 2016
- 37 investigators and 5 supervisors
- 22 of them are ex-officers of the peace
- The other 20 come from the fields of criminology, civil investigations (CNESST, CSIS, the Charbonneau Commission), in law, social work, education, and communications
- 174 independent investigations, of which 117 completed
- No charge
- 133 criminal investigations
- 6 police officers charged, from 5 police forces of different