During Plante’s first city council meeting on Monday, the newly elected mayor was asked a question regarding a memorial for Fredy Villanueva, who was shot and killed by police in August 2008 in Montreal-Nord.
The question was poised by Solo Fugère, reports CBC, who has been pushing for a Villanueva memorial since last year.
2018 will mark the ten year anniversary of Villanueva’s death. Fugère wanted to know if Plante and her administration would be open to creating a formal memorial that would highlight this dark moment in Montreal history, one tied to police brutality.
In response, Plante said she wasn’t opposed to the idea, explaining that “there were errors committed in the past that caused the death of a young man who did not deserve to die.”
Plante then promised to discuss the matter with the mayor of Montreal North.
The Montreal Police Brotherhood weren’t exactly pleased by Plante’s remarks or her commitment to creating a memorial for Fredy Villanueva.
The union released a formal statement saying Plante should “read or re-read the coroner's report” on Villanueva’s death." No officer involved with Villanueva’s death was formally charged.
Blasting back at Plante, the union also said that there isn’t a memorial for the 71 police officers who died while on-duty.
Except police officers undergo training, are equipped with firearms, and willingly take a paid position that involves a certain level of violence and risk.
That isn’t to say fallen police officers shouldn’t get a memorial, but equating Villanueva’s death with that of an officer killed in the line of duty doesn’t really hold up.
Responding to criticisms from the police union, a representative of the Plante administration has said the decision to install a memorial in remembrance of Fredy Villanueva will be up to the mayor of Montreal North.