Cop who shot teenager broke sev­eral pro­to­cols

Cape Breton Post - - news -

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.

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