Letter from Maureen Breau’s partner | “The event of March 27, 2023 was predictable and could have been avoided”

(Montreal) The tragic death of Sûreté du Québec (SQ) sergeant Maureen Breau, killed in the line of duty in March 2023, still haunts members of her family, but they hope that this event will lead to a change so that no other family experiences what they experienced.

This is what the police officer’s husband, Daniel Sanscartier, testified in particular through a letter read Wednesday during the coroner’s inquest into the murder of the police officer.

The investigation concerns the deaths of Sergeant Breau and Isaac Brouillard Lessard, a 35-year-old man suffering from schizoaffective disorder who stabbed the police officer and another officer during an attempted arrest before being shot dead by two of their colleagues.


Policewoman Maureen Breau

“I know that no future recommendation will bring my partner back to me, no recommendation will be satisfactory in my eyes to chase away the sadness that inhabits me every day,” said Mr. Sanscartier, spouse of Ms.me Breau for two decades, in a letter read by a family friend.

Mr. Sanscartier maintained that the coroner’s recommendations will have a considerable impact on the way mental health cases are handled in the future.

Coroner Géhane Kamel’s investigation revealed numerous shortcomings in the evaluation and supervision of Brouillard Lessard, who had been found not criminally responsible due to mental illness on five occasions for offenses in 2014 and 2018. He had spent a year in a psychiatric hospital in Montreal and had been followed by the Commission for the Examination of Mental Disorders of Quebec since 2014.

Brouillard Lessard had recently been subject to court-imposed conditions in April 2022, after receiving an absolute discharge and probation for a violent attack on an apartment superintendent.

Three days before the stabbing, Brouillard Lessard’s parents tried to convince police to arrest him, citing his deteriorating mental health. The parents said they felt abandoned when police visited his apartment and concluded they had no reason to hospitalize him.

Mr. Sanscartier, a police officer with 24 years of experience, said he has seen mental health calls become more frequent during his career. He said there needed to be better monitoring and support for people struggling with mental health issues, as well as better communication between health officials and police.

“A life sentence”

According to Mr. Sanscartier, “the event of March 27, 2023 was predictable and could have been avoided.” Listening to the testimonies during the investigation which lasted weeks, his “emotions swirled, going through sadness, incomprehension and anger,” he said.

Mr. Sanscartier said he remembers his late partner as a devoted mother of two children who immediately won him over with her charm, kindness and joy of life.

“When you entered her circle of friends, you got to know a generous, caring and attentive woman,” he emphasized.

Sergeant Breau was only a few patrol shifts away from starting a new job as a major crimes investigator.

Her mother, Lorette, told the inquest that the loss of her eldest daughter was “a life sentence that we have to face every day”, adding that she suffers from anxiety and other problems.

A part of us died with her.

Mother of Maureen Breau

Michel Breau, the policewoman’s father, remembers receiving a call the evening of the murder telling him to go to the hospital because his daughter had been injured at work. He was in hospital when his death was confirmed.

He described going to the crime scene the next morning looking for answers, but said he learned little. From previous testimony at the inquest, Michel Breau learned that his daughter went up the stairs without knowing that Brouillard Lessard was armed with a knife — none of the officers had mentioned the weapon since the arrest attempt was quickly derailed .

Michel Breau said his daughter acted out of concern for her colleague, who screamed after being stabbed.

“I know everything that happened today. That puts an end to my questions,” he told M.e Kamel, also thanking her for being a great help.

The coroner’s inquest is due to conclude on Thursday.

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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