(Montreal) Koray Kevin Celik, who died in Montreal in 2017, died during an intervention that “was not carried out in application of the elementary principles of a good police intervention”, concludes coroner Luc Malouin in his report released on Friday.

Coroner says Mr. Celik’s death raises “once again” the issue of ongoing police training and highlights the need for a protocol to be in place for sharing information to be passed on to police upon summons by 911.

The police officers’ lack of recent training in de-escalating tense situations may also have played a role in the fact that the situation escalated at the family residence.

Koray Kevin Celik, 28, was intoxicated shortly after 2 a.m. on March 6, 2017, in the borough of L’Île-Bizard–Sainte-Geneviève, in the west of Montreal. In his condition, his parents wanted to prevent him from driving. So they called 911 for help.

The police officers who arrived on the scene tried to subdue Mr. Celik, in particular with a telescopic baton. However, according to his parents, the officers used excessive force, repeatedly hitting their son with their feet and knees, before he stopped breathing.

Despite multiple attempts at resuscitation, both at the scene and in hospital, Mr. Celik died later that night. According to the coroner’s report, his death was caused by a combination of his intoxication, excited delirium syndrome and an enlarged heart.

In his report, Coroner Malouin blames in particular the taking of information from the first officers who went to the Celik residence that night. He notes, among other things, that the police have always spoken of this incident as a routine intervention, which may have led to certain automatisms.

“We take it for granted that things are going to be fine and we let our guard down,” he said. We forget the basic principles and we act a little automatically. However, a routine call can still go wrong. This case is proof of that. »

According to him, the officers “forgot the principles of good policing” and the situation escalated. “The result is what we know now,” he wrote.

The coroner believes that the first officers could have obtained valuable information by talking more with the young man’s parents before going to his room.

“With a few questions, (the officer) could have learned that there was no one in the house but the parents, that Mr. Celik did not have his parents’ car keys – and that he therefore could not leave – and that Mr. Celik’s parents thought that it was rather an ambulance that their son needed.

“With this information, the analysis and the urgency of the situation change completely,” recalls the coroner.

The police officer in question, however, chose to go alone to Mr. Celik’s room, which put his life in danger and caused a cascade of events.

Further on in his report, the coroner fiercely criticizes the use of force by the police. In his opinion, “the police officers put themselves in danger and provoked the use of force”.

According to the version of events that he arrives at, the coroner mentions that Mr. Celik was unarmed and that he was calm in his room when the police arrived. He thinks that the arrival of the police was probably perceived by the young man as an unjustified intrusion into his residence.

At one point, four police officers are present for the intervention. It was then that an officer, fearing for his life, hit Mr. Celik with a telescopic baton. A confrontation ensued between the young man and the officers, during which Mr. Celik was lying on the ground in order to be subdued.

It was when they got up that the agents found that the young man was no longer breathing.

While the officers argued that they did not strike Mr. Celik except for a knee in the thigh, the coroner leans more towards the version of his parents.

“I have watched every video statement from the parents given to investigators from the Office of Independent Investigations (IBI) and they are very credible. When you add in all of the injuries on Mr. Celik’s body and the blood found on the ground, I believe that Mr. Celik was beaten more while he was on the ground than what the police claimed during the their testimony,” he wrote.

The coroner then wonders if it was justified for the police to use so much force.

“Police officers have the right to use whatever force is necessary to deal with a situation that endangers their lives. […] But, with respect for the contrary opinion, I consider that this principle and this justification of force cannot be applied in a situation where the police officers have put themselves in danger and provoked the use of force. strength,” he said.

Ultimately, Coroner Malouin recommends that emergency services and police academies create a more detailed communication protocol for situations where police are dispatched to a home. This protocol should include information about the mental state or level of aggression of people who are the subject of 911 calls.

The investigation was conducted without the participation of the Celik family, who believe the process was framed against them.

Montreal police declined to comment on the report on Friday.

The Celik family is suing the City of Montreal and the municipality’s ambulance service separately. The case is still before the courts.

The family also won $30,000 in damages after suing the BEI over a press release that gave only the police version of events, alleging that Mr. Celik had acted aggressively – a version that contradicted that of his parents.

The court agreed with the family, finding that the police watchdog’s statement was neither neutral nor impartial.