Fredy Villanueva remembered, 10 years after shooting
Published Thursday, August 9, 2018 8:40PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 26, 2018 11:37AM EDT
Ten years after the death of Fredy Villanueva, a gathering was held in Montreal North to remember the 18-year-old, who was shot to death by police.
The ceremony was held in Parc de L’Espoir, which at one point was the proposed site of a tribute to Villanueva. Some critics said that since the memorial doesn’t mention Villanueva by name, it’s not enough.
Activist Will Prosper said the Villanueva shooting sparked a conversation about the condition of Montreal North and police brutality in the area.
Despite that conversation, Prosper said not enough have changed in the past decade.
“Ten years ago, when I first mentioned racial profiling, most people said it doesn’t exist,” he said. “Nowadays, everybody knows it exists. Still, police forces don’t put in place any reforms to address this issue. They aren’t transparent about it.”
After Villanueva’s death, the coroner determined the shooting was preventable and that Villanueva did not deserve to die. Villanueva’s family said they never received answers as to what really happened and said he was portrayed by police as a gang member, which he was not.
“Lots of people believe he punched a police officer, and it’s just not true,” said Prosper. “Even the coroner’s inquest said he was an honest citizen, doing his thing. We should remember his memory.”