The Independent Investigations Bureau (BEI)
Independent Investigations Bureau is a government agency that has the
status of being a specialized police force. It has powers under the Police Act.
The agency investigates events where a person is seriously injured, is
injured by a firearm, or has died as during the course of a police
intervention. It is also responsible for investigating any criminal
allegations made by Indigenous peoples against a police officer.
reporting to the Minister of Public Safety, the Independent
Investigations Bureau maintains an arm's length relationship with the
Quebec government in its operations and is not subordinate to the state
or any police force in Quebec. This autonomy helps to foster public
The BEI is a Police Force
the purpose of carrying out its mission, the BEI officers and
investigators are peace officers and therefore have the powers and
duties arising from that status.
In accordance with the Police Act,
the organization investigates various events throughout Québec. At no
time can the BEI, on its own initiative, decide to conduct an
investigation, since all its files are referred to it by the police. The
BEI cannot accept complaints from the public or investigate at the
request of a citizen.
Shed light on events
conducting an investigation, the BEI strives to shed light on the event
and the circumstances surrounding it. For example, for every
investigation it conducts, whether it involves an independent or
criminal investigation, it collects testimonials and facts that allow
him to reconstruct the event in detail and accurately records it in a
file. The team of investigators assigned to the investigation therefore
conducts the investigation in a consistent, rigorous and impartial
manner. Close scrutiny, analysis, research, structured interviews with
those involved and witnesses are at the heart of the work of the
investigators who are tasked with ultimately producing a detailed and
comprehensive report without external influence.
At the end of the investigation, the BEI submits its final report to the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP).
It is on the basis of this report that the DPCP will decide whether or
not to lay criminal charges. In the event of death, the BEI will provide
the same report to the Coroner.
Relatives of an injured or deceased person
an investigation is started, the BEI contacts, as soon as possible, a
relative of the injured or the deceased. The main investigator on file
can provide information to the relative about the stages of the
investigation, thus promoting a better understanding of the event while
respecting the sensitive nature of the information he can transmit so
that the disclosure cannot harm the investigation. If necessary, he can
direct it to resources that can support him in the circumstances.
Conducting an investigation requires time
independent investigation conducted by the BEI concludes with the
preparation of a report that will be submitted to the DPCP, allowing the
latter to determine whether or not to lay charges against the police
officer involved in the event.
In all cases of criminal
allegations, the BEI may ask the DPCP to bring proceedings if its
investigation has allowed it to gather evidence that could prove the
commission of a criminal offense.
Shedding light on an event or an
allegation is therefore a delicate task for the BEI. Although different
in nature and complexity, the investigations conducted by the Bureau of
Independent Investigations all meet the same requirements of
professionalism and rigor based on the application of formal and
consistent legal rules.
In each case, the BEI strives to produce
quality, well-documented and comprehensive survey reports. It therefore
gives its investigative teams the time required to meet this important