Villanueva family takes part in Montreal North protest
Published Saturday, February 7, 2009 6:49PM EST
A group of protesters gathered Saturday afternoon at the park in Montreal North where Fredy Villanueva was killed last summer.
Led by Villanueva's family members, the group walked peacefully through the neighbourhood's streets, chanting for "truth" and "justice".
The demonstrators marched all the way to the riding office of their local MNA, Line Beauchamp.
They called for the Quebec government to cover the legal fees of the witnesses who have been called to testify at the public inquiry into the 18-year-old's death.
The government is paying for the Villanueva family's lawyer, but the two other victims who were wounded by police gunfire -- Jeffrey Sagor-M�t�llus and Denis M�as -- have not been provided with legal representation.
"Basically they are left to fend for themselves in this inquiry," said Jerome Charaoui, who took part in the demonstration.
The Villanueva family insists they were assured M�t�llus and M�as would be provided with paid legal representation.
"They have to keep their promise to cover the legal fees of all the victims," said Patricia Villanueva, Fredy's sister.
Fatal shooting six months ago
Villanueva was shot by a Montreal police officer last Aug. 9, during a confrontation in a parking lot at Henri-Bourassa Park.
The Quebec coroner's office ordered a public inquiry into the fatal shooting, which was originally set to begin Feb. 16. But on Friday it was postponed to an unspecified date.
Fredy Villanueva's family and the two surviving shooting victims have taken their message to YouTube.
The black-and-white video, which is just under four minutes long, begins with Lilian Villanauva's mother asking why Montreal police killed her son.
"He was a good, respectful young man," she said.