Shooting sparks Montreal riot

Canadian city officials vow to mend ties with ethnic communities after police shooting.

    Officials promised a speedy probe into the shooting incident that sparked the riot [AFP]

    Ian Lafreniere, a Montreal police spokesman, said one police officer was hospitalised after being shot in the leg during the riot in Montreal North.

    Six people were arrested for the fracas, the second time in four months the city has seen a large-scale riot.

    The violence erupted 24 hours after the shooting incident on Saturday night involving three unarmed people, including Freddy Albert Villanueva, 18, who died of his wounds.

    Yvan Delorme, Montreal's police chief, said he was prepared to do whatever it took to mend the shaky relations between police and the community.

    "We're there to listen, to understand what happened [on Sunday] night and to avoid these kinds of situations," he said on Monday.

    "We have to feel safe in Montreal."

    City police said officers were trying to arrest an individual in a park late on Saturday when they were surrounded by a group of about 20 youths.

    Police said one of the officers opened fire when some individuals allegedly broke away and rushed at them.

    Speedy probe promised

    Montreal city officials have promised a speedy probe into the shooting, which is being investigated by Quebec provincial police.

    Gerald Tremblay, the city mayor, said "we have to do better than what we've been doing".

    He added that he was planning to meet community leaders to prevent further violence.
     
    According to census data a quarter of Montreal North residents are immigrants with almost 15 per cent blacks and 3.5 per cent Latinos.

    In April, a downtown celebration after the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Boston Bruins in a National Hockey League playoff game turned violent when people began torching police cars and looting stores.

    Police arrested 56 people in connection with that incident.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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