Cops blast Montreal mayor over her openness toward memorial for shooting victim
MONTREAL — The union representing Montreal police officers criticized Mayor Valerie Plante on Tuesday for saying she is open to the idea of creating a memorial for a young man shot dead by police in 2008.
A citizen asked Plante during a council meeting Monday for a memorial honouring Fredy Villanueva and called him a “symbol of resistance.”
His death triggered riots in the northern part of the city shortly after the shooting.
Plante replied she was “quite willing” to examine the project, and added that errors had been made in the past, including ones that led to Villanueva’s death.
On Tuesday Plante added that the memorial would be an occasion to “listen, to take action ... and to build bridges.”
The Montreal police brotherhood released a statement noting that no officer had been blamed for the shooting death.
Brotherhood president Yves Francoeur invited the mayor to read the coroner’s report and said the issue should be treated with “prudence and circumspection.”
“Let’s note in passing that there is practically no public trace in Montreal of the 71 officers who died on the job over the years,” the statement said.
Villanueva’s death occurred on Aug. 9, 2008, as police tried to question the teen’s older brother, Dany. Officers Jean-Loup Lapointe and Stephanie Pilotte were trying to put an end to the illegal gambling game and arrest Dany Villanueva when things degenerated.
In the ensuing scuffle, Fredy Villanueva was shot and killed by two bullets fired by Lapointe, while two other people were injured by other bullets.
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