The father of a Black man fatally shot by police in Mississauga last winter has been criminally charged in connection with a protest where fake blood was used to deface police property.
In January, 28-year-old Jamal Francique was killed by Peel Regional Police during an attempted arrest. On Wednesday, Derek Francique turned himself into police and was charged with one count of mischief over $5,000 while participating in a protest against police violence.
In Mississauga, there have been several rallies against police-involved shootings in the past year. In two protests this month, protestors splashed a red liquid across a police building and a monument for officers killed in the line of duty.
On Tuesday, police said in a statement that they charged three people in connection with these incidents but did not release names. However, lawyer Knia Singh issued a statement saying his client, Derek Francique, is among the accused.
“I’m fighting for his son and now I’m fighting for him,” Mr. Singh said.
He questioned why Peel Regional Police elected to pursue charges against the father of a man slain by officers on the same force. “Police are doing what,” he said, “trying to prove a point?”
Under the Criminal Code, a conviction on a mischief charge can result in up to a two-year jail sentence. Mr. Singh said he went with Mr. Francique to a police station when his client was formally charged Tuesday with mischief in relation to a Dec. 11 protest.
He recalled his client leaving the precinct with some pointed words. “One poignant thing that Mr. Francique said when we were done, was, ‘That was easy.’ The staff sergeant replied, ‘Yeah, that was easy.’ And then Mr. Francique said, ‘It could have been that easy with my son.’”
On Jan. 7, Jamal Francique was fatally shot in his car. He died in hospital days later.
The province’s Special Investigations Unit, which has yet to release its findings about police conduct in the case, has said that the younger Mr. Francique had been flagged as a person of interest in a police investigation. “There was an interaction and one officer discharged his firearm at the vehicle multiple times,” it said.
Mr. Singh said Chantelle Krupka, 34, was also among those charged with mischief.
On Mother’s Day, she was shot in the hip by officers who were called to a domestic disturbance call at her house. The SIU later charged a Peel officer – since retired – with assault, criminal negligence and careless use of a firearm.
Police in Peel also fatally shot a man in April and another man in June.
Peel Regional Police say they do not name people charged with minor offences. The police statement says that three people were charged in a Dec. 11 protest outside a police station where “several attendees threw a paint-like substance, defacing the facility and surrounding exterior grounds.”
A 34-year-old woman involved in that incident also stands accused of “defacing a police memorial monument in Mississauga” one week later, police said.
A police spokesman said that anyone who deliberately spatters red liquid across police property can be charged with a crime. “I am familiar with the claims this is a water-soluble paint or fake blood or whatever the case may be,” said Constable Akhil Mooken. “But at the end of the day it’s still a mischief because you damage or deface property that doesn’t belong to you – and there’s a cost associated with cleaning that.”
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