Two groups pull out of Villanueva inquiry
The upcoming coroner's inquest into the police shooting of a Montreal teenager was dealt another blow this week when two prominent civil-rights groups said they won't participate.
The Ligue des droits et libertes and the Black Coalition of Quebec are both calling for a full public inquiry into the August, 2008, shooting of 18-year-old Fredy Villanueva in Montreal North.
The Lique des droits says that the coroner's mandate is too narrow and does not examine the larger issues of racial profiling and police accountability.
"Coroner Robert Sansfacon refused to guarantee that these issues would be examined," the Ligue said in a statement.
"He could have done so .. given that the coroner has the power to investigate these matters."
The group also wants Quebec to pay the lawyers' fees for Villanueva's friends and relatives during the inquest that gets underway on May 25.
Shooting triggered riots
Villanueva was shot while police arrested his brother in a park. The shooting triggered riots in which businesses were ransacked and a police officer was shot in the leg. The violence exposed deep divisions between police and youth in Montreal North.
The officer who fired the fatal shots will not be charged.