Cop who shot teenager broke several protocols
MONTREAL (CP) — A Montreal police officer who fatally shot a teenager broke a series of police force protocols immediately after the event, a coroner’s inquest heard Thursday.
Jean-Loup Lapointe told the inquest into the death of 18-year-old Fredy Villanueva that he was well aware of policies that prohibit officers from speaking about shootings in which they are involved.
But soon after shooting Villanueva in 2008, Lapointe spoke with his union representative while accompanied by his partner Stephanie Pilotte.
The meeting was “normal and even important,” according to Lapointe.
The inquiry had heard previously that Lapointe’s supervisor, Rene Bellemare, was supposed to keep him separate from his partner.
It emerged Thursday that Bellemare was also responsible for confiscating and clearing Lapointe’s service handgun. But Lapointe admitted he handed the weapon to another officer after removing the bullets himself.
“I absolutely had to secure the weapon before putting it away,” he told the inquiry.
Villanueva’s lawyer sought to highlight the repeated lapse in protocol.
“They did not respect many, if not most, of the directives formulated for similar events,” Gunar Dube said during a break in the proceedings.
Lapointe waited one month before submitting his report of the shooting to investigators. It took his partner, Pilotte, less than a week.
The officer blamed the delay on the “extremely trying” events that followed the shooting.
Villanueva’s death sparked a riot in the tough, multi-ethnic Montreal-North neighbourhood where it occurred.
Lapointe said he needed time to calm his emotions and gather his thoughts. He added that after meeting with provincial police investigators he realized he was potential suspect in a murder probe.