Pubdate: Wed, 18 Jun 2008
Source: Sackville Tribune-Post (CN NK)
Copyright: 2008 The Sackville Tribune-Post Ltd.
Contact:  http://www.sackvilletribunepost.com/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/768

RATHER SHOCKING TRIAL ACQUITTAL

It once was in this country, not all that long ago, that someone who
killed an officer of the law was eligible for the death penalty.

A court case Friday will have come as a shock to many. A Quebec man
who fired upon and killed a policeman during a raid on his home was
acquitted of first degree murder by a jury.

Basil Parasiris, who had been charged in the death of Laval police
Const. Daniel Tessier in March 2007, walked out of court a free man.
He does still face some weapons-related charges, however.

The incident was apparently part of a crackdown in the area on illegal
drug dealing.

A squad of police used a battering ram to smash into the Parasiris
home. In the seconds that followed, shots were exchanged as police
tried to enter a bedroom.

The man claimed he didn't know it was police and that he was trying to
protect his family. The case he presented was one of
self-defence.

Police, although they acknowledged problems with the dramatic entry,
also emphasized the man had four guns in the house, only one of which
was registered.

That's not terribly indicative of a wronged man.

There was also indication in the trial of problems with the police
warrant, although that bit of information was presented in motions
before the trial and kept from the jury.

Thus, it would amount to a red herring in the trial's overall
outcome.

While the prosecution reviews the trial and considers whether it will
appeal, police agencies in Quebec will also be looking at their
policies of how the raid was carried out and what went wrong -
drastically wrong.

In the middle of all this is the unfortunate, confused
public.

They learn about a police officer mowed down in the line of duty and
aren't sure what they see - an inept set of actions by their local law
enforcement agency or an absence of justice following a violent act.
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MAP posted-by: Steve Heath