The public inquiry into the causes and circumstances surrounding the death of Fredy Villanueva resumes at 9:30am on Monday, March 29, in room 5.15 at the Palais de Justice de Montréal (1 Notre-Dame East, between the Place d’Armes and Champ-de-Mars metro stations).
Until now, we have heard the versions of police officers Jean-Loup Lapointe and Stéphanie Pilotte, the two officers involved in the police intervention that took place that fateful evening, on August 9, 2008. These two officers have been given more than ample opportunity to be heard throughout their extensive testimonies during the public inquiry.
It is important to keep in mind that the Sûreté du Québec officers who were given the task of investigating the death of Fredy Villanueva allowed officers Lapointe and Pilotte to take as long as they wished before submitting their versions of what happened in writing. Meanwhile, these same investigators forced the majority of the young witnesses (who were at the scene where the tragic events took place) to make a declaration within hours, despite the fact that they were still severely shaken up after seeing their friends and relatives injured by the bullets of a cop.
Now, the time for the young witnesses to publicly share their version, which is largely unknown to the public at large, has finally come.
Dany Villanueva, Fredy’s older brother, will begin his testimony this Monday, March 29, immediately after the end of officer Lapointe’s testimony. Dany’s testimony may last the entire week of the hearings, that is to say from March 29 through April 1, 2010.
It is to be expected that the lawyers defending the interests of the police will do whatever it takes to undermine the credibility and to tarnish Dany’s reputation during the cross-examination. It is worth noting that these same lawyers have already demonstrated their complete lack of compassion when they openly stated that they had the intention of holding Dany and his friends, as well as Fredy himself, responsible for Fredy’s death.
This is why we invite all those who are in solidarity with the struggle for truth and justice to come out in large numbers for Dany’s testimony to show our support for Fredy’s brother and the Villanueva family.
We would also like to mention that the hearings related to the deportation proceedings faced by Dany Villanueva at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada will be held on April 21, 2010, at 1pm. More information will follow about this in the coming week.
This call for solidarity is being made conjointly by the Coalition Against Police Repression and Abuse, Montréal-Nord Républik, Solidarity Across Borders, No One Is Illegal, the Justice for Anas Coalition and the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality.