The family of a Quebec student says it will press charges against a Quebec City police officer after Naomie Trudeau-Tremblay was hit in the face with part of a tear gas canister during a protest on Thursday.
"I was gasping for air… I lost consciousness," said Trudeau-Tremblay, an 18-year-old Quebec City post-secondary CEGEP student.
She said she was stunned by the actions of the police officer who launched the tear gas directly at her. She said she has the officer's badge number.
Her mother, Catherine Tremblay, said the family wants to pursue the matter in court.
Students gathered outside Quebec's National Assembly on Thursday evening, following the release of the latest provincial budget.
A Huffington Post report captured a tense moment between police officers and students at the protest that ultimately became violent.
In the Huffington Post video, students can be seen approaching police outside the National Assembly.
The video shows some shoving between police and students before tear gas is fired at the crowd.
"There is no right reason to shoot someone directly in the face," said Camille Godbout of student protest group ASSÉ.
Godbout said police didn't have to fire the tear gas directly at protesters to disperse the crowd.
"They're shooting directly at people instead of shooting, for example, in the air," she said.
Officers trapped protesters and prevented them from leaving the premises after the gas was released, she said. Many protesters were seen getting their eyes rinsed out by friends and fellow students.
Police defend use of tear gas
A Quebec City police spokesman told CBC's Daybreak Friday morning that officers only launched the tear gas after physical altercations broke out.
"I will not comment on the video, because you see the first time they start to advance, and then they charge the policemen, and you know tear gas is used to avoid body-to-body confrontation and to disperse the [protesters]," said François Moisan of the Quebec City police.
He said police would review the events of Thursday's protest, adding the officers used a type of tear gas that does not launch the entire canister — just the cap.
Trudeau-Tremblay was treated in hospital.