Michel Vienneau's friends demand a trial for killing in 2015

No trial for Bathurst officers charged in fatal shooting

Friends of Michel Vienneau, the Tracadie man killed by Bathurst police in January 2015, are circulating a petition demanding that New Brunswick's attorney general order that the officers responsible stand trial.

Manslaughter charges against suspended constables Mathieu Boudreau and Patrick Bulger were dropped last month after a judge decided the Crown had not presented enough evidence during a preliminary inquiry for the matter to go to trial.

"For the friends of Michel Vienneau following the preliminary hearing, it was a disaster because there was no way we could see the truth in what happened," said Camille McLaughlin,  a friend of Vienneau who is launching the petition.

"Why did they kill him instead of just check him? For drug or anything. They killed an innocent person who now has been cleared of any illegal act."

Nova Scotia RCMP completed an investigation into the shooting and revealed in November 2015 they were unable to find any evidence of criminal activity by Vienneau leading up to his death.

Brother wants name of tipster

Vienneau's friends and his brother, Nicolas Vienneau, also take issue with the Crime Stoppers tip that led to the investigation into Vienneau.

The morning of Vienneau's death, Bathurst police recieved an anonymous Crime Stoppers tip about Vienneau and his common-law wife, Annick Basque. The couple was returning from a weekend in Montreal by train.

The tipster told police the make, model, and year of the car registered to Vienneau and described the appearance of the couple. The tipster also told police Vienneau and Basque were drinking, and were carrying a load of pills from Montreal to Bathurst.

Nicolas Vienneau told Radio-Canada he supports the petition and is still pushing for Crime Stoppers to release the identity of the anonymous tipster.

Family 'devastated'

Vienneau's niece, Nikki, has also signed the petition and says Judge Camille Dugas-Horseman's decision "devastated" her family.

"For us it's important thing that a lot of people agree with us that this has to go on," she said.

"We're still on it. Michel is not here with us but somebody has to do the work."

Nikki Vienneau said her grandparents — Vienneau's parents — are ill and the death and court proceedings have been hard for them.