CBC News Posted: Apr 08, 2016
Montreal police take over investigation in small Algonquin community
The brother of Sandy Tarzan Michel, the 25-year-old father of three killed by police in Lac-Simon, Que., this week, died in similar circumstances several years ago.
“We are living with our pain,” Judith Brazeau, the partner of Michel’s father, said.
Family members confirmed to CBC News that Johnny Jr. Michel Dumont was also killed during a police operation in the small Algonquin community, located just south of Val-d’Or, in 2009.
He was shot by police while allegedly holding a knife.
On Wednesday evening, the Anishnabe Takonewini Police Service responded to a report of a man with a knife or another bladed weapon walking in the street.
Michel died during the altercation, leading several dozen people to confront local police. The provincial police force, Sûreté du Québec, was called for backup and three men were arrested for uttering threats.
Montreal police have taken over the investigation.
Family grieves, community marches
Michel’s family said it is leaning on the support of the small community after losing two loved ones in a similar manner.
Brazeau said many people have reached out over the last two days.
“We help each other a lot,” Brazeau said. “If someone is hurting, there is always someone there.”
About 100 people marched Friday afternoon to protest the circumstances surrounding Michel’s death in the April 6 shooting.
Many said they believe that drugs and alcohol are the root of the community’s problems and led to Michel’s death.
Council members in Lac-Simon have banned the sale of alcohol in the community at least until Monday, April 10.
“The situation will then be re-evaluated,” read a notice by the Anishnabe Nation of Lac-Simon.
A second protest will take place in Montreal next week.
Two months ago, a member of the Anishnabe Takonewini Police Service was fatally shot on duty.
Thierry Leroux was shot and killed during a domestic dispute call.
The person who shot Leroux then committed suicide.
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The Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents police officers on the Lac-Simon force, issued a statement Thursday calling for more resources and raising concern about a “public security crisis” in the community.
The local health centre has set up a crisis unit to work with residents.
About 1,200 people live in Lac-Simon, which is 500 kilometres northwest of Montreal.
With files from The Canadian Press