Police officer acquitted in fatal shooting of Bony Jean-Pierre in Montréal-Nord

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A Quebec Court judge has found Montreal police officer Christian Gilbert not guilty of manslaughter in the death of Bony Jean-Pierre.

Jean-Pierre was killed when a plastic bullet fired by Gilbert struck him in the head during a drug raid in Montréal-Nord in March of 2016.

Quebec Court Judge Yvan Poulin found Gilbert's testimony credible and that the shooting was legally justified.

"In the eyes of the tribunal, there is nothing to cast doubt on the frankness, sincerity and reliability of Mr. Gilbert's testimony as a whole," Poulin said in his ruling. "The court concludes that the fears of violence and serious consequences for the police officers and the citizens were real and justified the use of the intermediate weapon."

Poulin added that "although the consequences of this event remain unquestionably tragic, dramatic and catastrophic, it has not been shown that Mr. Gilbert engaged his criminal responsibility by using unjustified force."

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Jean-Pierre was trying to flee through a window when he was hit. He fell two-and-a-half metres to the ground, and died a few days later of his injuries.

Gilbert testified during the trial that he had fired a warning shot near Jean-Pierre's hand, then aimed a second shot toward Jean-Pierre's hip. He said then a puff of smoke came out of his gun and the next thing he knew he saw Jean-Pierre falling toward the ground.

Gilbert and another officer ran to him and found him unconscious but still breathing, with a wound to his head.

The officer who planned the raid testified during the trial that the apartment where Jean-Pierre was shot was known as a place to buy drugs.