Family devastated no charges laid after speeding police officer killed 5-year-old boy
Published Wednesday, November 19, 2014 11:43AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 19, 2014 7:33PM EST
The family of a five-year-old boy killed in a car crash by a speeding police officer is devastated the officer will not be charged.
The boy was killed on February 13 when an SQ officer in an unmarked car travelling more than double the speed limit slammed into Mike Belance’s car at the intersection of Gaetan Boucher Blvd. and Davis Blvd. in Longueuil.
Belance was driving his children to school and making a left-hand turn when he was rammed by an unmarked police car speeding at 122 km/h.
The police car did not have any lights flashing or siren blasting, and was not responding to an emergency. The officer slammed on the brakes, hitting the car at 90 km/h.
The speed limit in that zone is 50 km/h.
Following a Montreal police investigation, the Crown prosecutor decided not to lay charges.
The impact of the crash was so severe the car holding the Belance family was knocked several metres off the road.
The five-year-old boy was taken to hospital with a skull fracture and other severe injuries, and died four days later in hospital without ever regaining consciousness.
“Whenever I think of him, I have to cry, because it's hard. It's hard for me, and especially for my husband. He doesn’t sleep,” said the boy’s grandmother, Kettelie Belance.
His 14-year-old sister was badly hurt, as was Mr. Belance.
Montreal's police department took over the investigation several hours after the crash, and earlier this month informed the Belance family there would not be any charges.
The family says they still do not know the name of the driver who killed their son, and since charges will not be pressed they may never know.
Islande Belance, the boy's aunt, cannot believe nobody will be charged for the death.
“Because it's a cop it's different? Why?” she said. "Somebody just took his life. When I think about it it's so unfair. It's so unfair. This little boy was an angel. You see him and he was full of life."
The family has no idea why there are no charges. With no charges, the Crown prosecutor's office is not required to justify the decision.
Late Monday afternoon, the Crown prosecutor's office issued a statement saying it will meet with the family to provide an explanation in an effort to be transparent and maintain the public's confidence in the system.
The move comes following questions from the opposition on the matter.
Justice Minister Stephanie Vallee told the National Assembly the family deserves an explanation from the Crown.
Public Security Minister Lise Theriault also said the government is already committed to putting an independent body in place by 2016 to handle investigations involving police officers.
“I think that the fact of independent people making the inquiry it's a good thing to reassure the population,” she said.
Paulin Aube of the Quebec Federation of Municipal Police is also calling for more transparency.
“Whenthere are no charges filed against a police officer, we think it’s in our interest to inform the public the reasons why,” said Aube.
The family is also exploring its options and is considering hiring a lawyer to get access to the investigative reports or file a civil suit.