Montreal Forum on Gun Violence to Include Schools and Community Groups

The January forum will bring together the police and various organizations so that the issue can be addressed from various angles, the mayor said.

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Montreal will hold a forum on gun violence in January, Mayor Valérie Plante announced Monday morning. The meeting will bring together police, institutions, community groups, schools and other organizations to address the issue from various angles.


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Plante referred to the recent deaths of teens Jannai Dopwell-Bailey and Thomas Trudel and said: “I assure you that we will do everything we can to combat gun violence. This increase in violence is not tolerable. We will not accept it.

“That is why it is natural for us in the city of Montreal to join with the SPVM for a great forum on gun violence. It will allow us to discuss the problem of armed violence and find solutions that we can implement. I am proud to say that we are making public safety our priority. “

Plante was joined by Montreal Police Deputy Director Vincent Richer, who said that fighting gun violence is not just the responsibility of the police.

“It should be shared by our many community partners,” Richer said. “Citizens are part of the solution. … The phenomenon of the trivialization of armed violence in Montreal must be confronted and examined more closely, with the participation of all our community partners.


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The objective of the forum, he explained, is “to find concrete solutions, taking into account the mission and experience of each partner in the fight against armed violence.”

Montreal has seen an increase in gun violence in the past two years, following in the footsteps of Toronto and other urban centers.

Plante promised to consult with other cities and learn from their experiences. A primary focus will be preventing gun violence and crime among youth by increasing funding and consulting with community groups that help steer youth away from negative influences and conflict situations.

Reaction to a report in La Presse Monday morning that said 16-year-old Thomas Trudel may have been the victim of “punctuation,” in reference to when members of a gang or neighborhood go to another neighborhood and shoot at random someone to gain prestige. Richer said police are investigating the possibility.


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According to the report, four friends of Trudel saw on social media that just before he was fatally shot, they asked him where he was from.

“I’m from the JFP (Joseph-Francois-Perrault school),” Trudel is said to have responded.

“The investigation is ongoing,” Richer replied. “We are gathering information and following leads. I can assure you that we are working hard to solve this crime. The scoring phenomenon is something we’ve seen develop in recent months. The SPVM is aware of the phenomenon; but for the moment, commenting on the investigation could alert (possible suspects) and hinder the investigation, so I cannot give you more information. “

Plante said the issue of scoring is worrisome.

“I think parents can identify with the fear that their child will go to school, answer a banal question on the street, the child will answer and then die. It is absolutely disturbing. “


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The score is a by-product of the larger role social media is playing in armed conflicts among youth, Richer said.

“Social media is where it’s happening,” he noted. “It’s where young people talk to each other, brag and settle scores. After that, they are doing it in the street, with real lives ”.

When asked about his response to social media images and news reports of the violent arrest of black youth by police in Quebec City over the weekend, Plante expressed concern.

“It sure is disturbing,” he said. “You cannot look at those images and remain passive. That being said, (law enforcement investigators) will have to look closely at what happened and get to the bottom of things. Let them do their job. “

This story will be updated.

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