The funeral for Sgt. Maureen Breau, the Sûreté du Québec police officer who was stabbed and killed two weeks ago while making an arrest, will take place in Trois-Rivières today following a three-kilometre parade of thousands of officers in mourning.
Breau was a veteran provincial police officer with more than 20 years experience under her belt. She was stabbed while she and her colleague read a man his rights before arresting him. Breau’s colleague was also injured.
The man, 35-year-old Isaac Brouillard Lessard, was shot and killed when two more police officers arrived.
An online obituary says Breau was about to turn 43 and that she had two children with her long-time partner, Daniel Sanscartier, an investigator for the SQ. According to TVA, Breau was days away from beginning a new job as an investigator.
Up to 7,000 police officers are expected to take part in the sombre parade behind the funeral procession, which will begin at the Complexe Sportif Alphonse-Desjardins and culminate at the Notre-Dame Du Cap Sanctuary basilica by the St. Lawrence River.
The civic funeral ceremony will take place at 1:30 p.m. at the church.
Suspect had extensive criminal justice history
Lessard, the man suspected in Breau’s death, has an extensive history with the criminal justice system.
In the last decade, he was charged with uttering threats and assault multiple times.
In three separate court proceedings, he was found not criminally responsible for his actions due to mental illness. In 2021, he pleaded guilty to assault and he was released on conditional discharge, given two years of probation and assigned to 200 hours of community service.
Yvon Deshaies, the mayor of Louiseville, said on Tuesday he hoped the investigation would shed light on the treatment Lessard received after he was found not criminally responsible.
“Who treated him, who didn’t treat him?” Lessard asked. “That’s what we want to know. Who didn’t do their job? We want to speak to those people.”
The Quebec government is holding a public inquiry into Breau’s death.
Quebec’s provincial police officers’ association, the Association des policières et policiers provinciaux du Québec, launched a petition shortly after Breau’s death calling for an information-sharing protocol to notify officers about someone’s potentially dangerous medical history before they interact.
Public Security Minister François Bonnardel said he was looking into whether something of the sort would be legally feasible.
Breau was the eighth police officer to be killed in the last seven months in Canada. Last week, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police requested an urgent meeting with Canada’s premiers to discuss bail reform and the recent killings of officers.
Last month, Const. Brett Ryan and Const. Travis Jordan were fatally shot by a 16-year-old boy in Edmonton while they were responding to a family dispute.