Nova Scotia mass shooting inquiry: Advice given to witness worries former judge

spaminator

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Mountie has ‘impression’ Liberal government interfered with N.S. mass shooting probe
Chief Supt. Chris Leather made the comment at the public inquiry into the rampage during cross-examination

Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Michael Tutton
Publishing date:Aug 23, 2022 • 8 hours ago • 4 minute read • 26 Comments

HALIFAX — A senior Mountie testified Thursday he believes political interference was behind RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki’s determination to have police release details on the guns used in the Nova Scotia mass shooting.


Chief Supt. Chris Leather made the comment at the public inquiry into the rampage that took 22 lives on April 18-19, 2020, during cross-examination by Tom MacDonald, a lawyer who represents two family members of victims.


MacDonald asked if Leather believed, after the officer participated in a teleconference with Lucki shortly after the shootings, that the commissioner’s comments reflected political interference in the criminal probe underway at the time.

Leather responded, “That’s my impression,” and he said he came to that conclusion after gathering the facts about the “lead-up” to the meeting with Lucki.


RCMP Chief Supt. Darren Campbell has alleged that during a meeting on April 28, 2020, Lucki said she promised the Prime Minister’s Office that the information on the guns would be released in connection with the Liberal government’s “pending gun control legislation.”


The government was in the midst of drafting fresh gun control measures to reduce access to semi-automatic weapons in the days following the mass shooting. Campbell and Leather both testified this week that releasing the information on the guns would have interfered with the ongoing investigation into who provided the killer with the semi-automatic weapons.

Leather, who is the head of criminal operations in Nova Scotia, testified on Wednesday that he had received a call on the evening of April 22 — three days after the mass shooting — from Lucki and that she had asked him to send her details about the guns. The superintendent has said that a list of guns he had sent to Lucki was for internal purposes only.

Leather’s statement about the April 22 call with Lucki, and about a series of emails that followed, didn’t come up in a July 6 interview he gave to inquiry lawyers.


During cross-examination Thursday by Michael Scott — a lawyer who represents the majority of the victims’ families — Leather said he hadn’t discussed the call or the emails on July 6 because lawyers with the federal Department of Justice had suggested he take “a reactive posture.”

“The advice I received was not to proactively disclose the conversation (with Lucki) and the emails leading up to the meeting on April 28, (2020),” Leather testified.

“I knew from my notes and emails I had prepared and submitted that it was obviously relevant to what would become the infamous phone call (meeting) of April 28 and was troubled by that and wanted their advice and was advised to take a reactive posture.”

Lori Ward, a lawyer for the federal Justice Department and the RCMP, told commissioners Thursday she believed there had been a “misunderstanding” from Leather about that advice. She said she and another federal lawyer had understood that Leather had a document relevant to the April 28, 2020, meeting with Lucki that they needed to review because it might contain privileged information.


Lucki has denied interfering in the police investigation. She testified Monday before a House of Commons committee that she didn’t recall telling then-public safety minister Bill Blair that she had “promised” to have the details on the guns released. She said she remembered using different words with Blair.

Leather also faced questions from lawyers representing victims’ families about his force’s poor relationship with other police forces before the mass shooting, and in the two years since then.

Truro police Chief Dave MacNeil testified in May that on the night of the mass shooting, the information coming from RCMP had been “very sporadic” and that Truro police “didn’t really have a tasking.”

Leather said it wasn’t feasible to have close collaboration with the Truro police during a lengthy and complex emergency, because the two forces hadn’t trained together for mass shooting scenarios.


However, lawyer Josh Bryson asked Leather why the RCMP didn’t at least call on municipal police forces to assist in canvassing the community of Portapique, N.S., on April 19, 2020, to see if there were more victims. It took the RCMP close to 18 hours from the start of the mass shooting to locate five of the victims’ bodies.

The officer agreed with Jane Lenehan, a lawyer who represents the family of victim Gina Goulet, that during his tenure, relations with municipal police forces had deteriorated, and that it was essential to the safety of Nova Scotians that this be remedied.

Leather said he was hopeful a major change in management of Nova Scotia RCMP would help decrease tensions.

He said he is being transferred to national headquarters in August to take on a new role, while the assistant commissioner at the time, Lee Bergerman, has retired, and Chief Supt. Darren Campbell was recently transferred to New Brunswick.
 
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Ron in Regina

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Eroding public trust in the RCMP certainly isn’t going to be helped by a recent revelation at Nova Scotia’s Mass Casualty Commission.

That is that there was a now-deleted recording of a controversial phone call between RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki and senior RCMP officers in the province that raised questions about political interference by the Trudeau government into the investigation of the mass killing in which 22 people were murdered in April 2020.

 

pgs

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Eroding public trust in the RCMP certainly isn’t going to be helped by a recent revelation at Nova Scotia’s Mass Casualty Commission.

That is that there was a now-deleted recording of a controversial phone call between RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki and senior RCMP officers in the province that raised questions about political interference by the Trudeau government into the investigation of the mass killing in which 22 people were murdered in April 2020.

We don’t know how this could have happened , trust us .
 

The_Foxer

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Honestly i think any organization becomes corrupt over enough time, and the RCMP is one of our oldest. And i think that tends to happen at double the rate when the org is in control of a lot of power and is largely unaccountable.

But what do you do? Go provincial? What do you do when THEY become corrupt? And one look at ontario shows going provincial is NO guarantee of getting a non-corrupt force.
 
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petros

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Honestly i think any organization becomes corrupt over enough time, and the RCMP is one of our oldest. And i think that tends to happen at double the rate when the org is in control of a lot of power and is largely unaccountable.

But what do you do? Go provincial? What do you do when THEY become corrupt? And one look at ontario shows going provincial is NO guarantee of getting a non-corrupt force.
Alberta is going back to Provincial and SK might too.
 
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The_Foxer

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Alberta is going back to Provincial and SK might too.
Yeah, but won't a lot of the 'new' officers just be retreds from the RCMP who apply to the new force? A new house built with old wood is an old house.
 

pgs

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Yeah, but won't a lot of the 'new' officers just be retreds from the RCMP who apply to the new force? A new house built with old wood is an old house.
Not really , the heritage houses in Kits are framed with clear fir that is still better than what is being used today .
 

The_Foxer

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Not really , the heritage houses in Kits are framed with clear fir that is still better than what is being used today .
Yeah but they're still old houses :) Old isn't always bad, but the saying basically means if you use something that's old to build something new you get the same problems you had with the old one. (or benefits i guess, but that obviously doesn't apply here).
 

Taxslave2

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Honestly i think any organization becomes corrupt over enough time, and the RCMP is one of our oldest. And i think that tends to happen at double the rate when the org is in control of a lot of power and is largely unaccountable.

But what do you do? Go provincial? What do you do when THEY become corrupt? And one look at ontario shows going provincial is NO guarantee of getting a non-corrupt force.
BC had a provincial police force at one time. Got disbanded because of corruption, mostly at the management level.
 

Serryah

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Really? Holy shit. If we disbanded every corrupt police force in America, there wouldn't be a cop in the country!

So we did what we always do with criminal sleaze. We legalized it!

Years ago a lot of the town cops that served in NB were phased out for the RCMP (Codiac for Moncton, NB, the RCMP here in my smaller town, and others).

We are paying for it in shit service.

Don't get me wrong, I know some cops and have friends who are RCMP. The town ditched the town cops due to - you guessed it - corruption, and we went with the RCMP. Now there's calls for town police.

In the end though it's like everything else, being a cop - RCMP or otherwise - is a shitshow and getting people to do the job is going to get harder and harder.

All that said, this mass causality event in NS was beyond the pale.
 
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