Police say they lack resources to handle the homeless

After the fatal shooting of a homeless man last Friday, the head of Montreal's police brotherhood says they are not equiped to deal with the homeless.

Second homeless man shot dead by police in seven months

The head of Montreal's police brotherhood said the fatal shooting of a homeless man last Friday shows there are holes in Quebec's health care system.

Yves Francoeur said police aren't equipped to deal with people who live on the streets.

Farshad Mohammadi, 34, was shot and killed by an officer inside a downtown metro station Friday.

Mohammadi was homeless and had been living in shelters.

Provincial police, who are investigating the shooting at Bonaventure metro station, said Mohammadi attacked one of the two responding officers with an edged weapon and one of the officers then shot the suspect.

A police officer was treated for cuts to his neck and torso.

Mohammadi died in hospital. The officer's injuries are not considered life-threatening.

This is the second time a Montreal police officer has killed a homeless man in the past seven months.

Francoeur said police often have to deal with homeless people when they are in crisis. He said those situations could be prevented if the health care system was able to intervene.

"There's a lot of people before us who are more qualified than us to work with them, but because of a lack of resources, they don't do what they're supposed to do," said Francoeur.

Pierre Gaudreau, who runs an umbrella group working for the homeless, said he agreed with Francoeur, that there aren't enough resources. But he said the police protocol is also part of the problem.

"In too many situations, the solution is shooting, a shooting that kills people," said Gaudreau.

Currently, police shootings are investigated by another police force.

Gaudreau said if an independent civilian body took over that role, police behaviour would change.