Tense moments at Villanueva inquiry
Published Tuesday, October 27, 2009 1:53PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 12:06AM EDT
The Montreal police officer who shot and killed a Montreal teenager refused to speak with investigators who were forced to get his police report through Access to Information laws, an inquest heard Tuesday.
Jean-Loup Lapointe was one of two officers whose actions on August 9, 2008 are at the centre of a coroner's inquiry underway at the Montreal courthouse.
The inquest is looking into the shooting of 18-year-old Fredy Villanueva, whose death 14 months ago triggered riots and highlighted tensions between police and youths in Montreal North.
The investigation led by Surete du Quebec Sgt.-Det. Bruno Duchesne came under fire during tense exchanges Tuesday with lawyers for two young men who survived the shooting.
Duchesne said he met 111 witnesses and experts but never spoke with Lapointe or partner Stephanie Pilotte.
Duchesne had said earlier that he didn't need to meet the officers because they handed in written reports.
But he acknowledged Tuesday that Lapointe's summary of events was not forthcoming. He told the court that he had to file an access request to get the document.
Duchesne opened the inquest Monday by admitting he didn't take steps to prevent the two officers from speaking with each other following the shooting.
A lawyer for the Montreal police defended the investigation.
"I think the way the investigation took place was equitable but police officers have the same rights in terms of seeking council as any other citizens, as I said in court, whether it's a plumber, a lawyer or a journalist," said attorney Michael Stober.
Advocates for Villanueva and other witnesses have said Duchesne's testimony calls into question the entire practice of police investigating police when civilians are injured or killed.
A CTV News investigation has revealed that an outside police force recommended criminal charges in just one out of 97 violent confrontations with citizens in Quebec since 2003.