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Canada ‘That meant a lot’: Families of N.S. shooting victims respond to RCMP member’s apology

22:21  28 july  2022
22:21  28 july  2022 Source:   globalnews.ca

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Family members of some of the Nova Scotia mass shooting victims say they're pleased to see a senior-ranking RCMP member take accountability for shortcomings in their response to the April 2020 rampage.

Chief Supt. Darren Campbell is questioned by lawyer Robert Pineo at the Mass Casualty Commission inquiry into the mass murders in rural Nova Scotia on April 18/19, 2020, in Halifax on Tuesday, July 26, 2022. Gabriel Wortman, dressed as an RCMP officer and driving a replica police cruiser, murdered 22 people. © THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kelly Clark Chief Supt. Darren Campbell is questioned by lawyer Robert Pineo at the Mass Casualty Commission inquiry into the mass murders in rural Nova Scotia on April 18/19, 2020, in Halifax on Tuesday, July 26, 2022. Gabriel Wortman, dressed as an RCMP officer and driving a replica police cruiser, murdered 22 people.

On Tuesday, Chief Supt. Darren Campbell concluded his two-day testimony in front of the Mass Casualty Commission with a heartfelt apology.

MPs look into alleged political interference in N.S. shooting probe

  MPs look into alleged political interference in N.S. shooting probe OTTAWA — MPs on the House of Commons public safety committee meet Monday to explore whether there was political meddling with the RCMP as it investigated the April 2020 shootings in Nova Scotia. Just over a week after a gunman murdered 22 people during a 13-hour shooting spree, RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki held a meeting with top officers in Nova Scotia that has been described by those in attendance as tense. Supt. Darren Campbell, who was in charge of the investigation, wrote in his notes that Lucki mentioned promising the federal government to release information about the weapons the gunman used.

"I apologize for failing," he said. "I'm truly sorry that we failed you, and I promise that we'll do better."

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Ryan Farrington, who lost his mother Dawn Madsen and stepfather Frank Gulenchyn in the shooting, says it was an apology more than two years in the making.

"To me it was a genuine, heartfelt 'sorry,'" said Farrington. "It's one of the biggest things I wanted to hear.

"For him to come out and say that in the position that he's in, being a senior officer still, I can truly appreciate that. And that meant a lot to me."

Farrington said Campbell met with him Tuesday evening after the apology, which is something he also appreciated.

However, Farrington says he still struggles to forgive the RCMP and remains frustrated with the inquiry and its process.

MPs look into alleged political interference in N.S. shooting probe

  MPs look into alleged political interference in N.S. shooting probe OTTAWA — MPs on the House of Commons public safety committee meet Monday to explore whether there was political meddling with the RCMP as it investigated the April 2020 shootings in Nova Scotia. Just over a week after a gunman murdered 22 people during a 13-hour shooting spree, RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki held a meeting with top officers in Nova Scotia that has been described by those in attendance as tense. Supt. Darren Campbell, who was in charge of the investigation, wrote in his notes that Lucki mentioned promising the federal government to release information about the weapons the gunman used.


Video: Top RCMP officer stands by claims of political interference in N.S. massacre probe (Global News)

"It would have been nice to hear this at the beginning. It would have been nice to hear this even before we had a public inquiry," he said.

Video: Senior Mountie makes tearful apology to families at N.S. shooting inquiry

Scott McLeod, who lost his brother Sean in the shooting, agrees, saying the most senior-ranking RCMP members involved in the response should have taken the stand months ago.

"If this testimony had been at the beginning, a lot of the members that have already previously testified may have been a little more open about some of the stuff they did, or couldn't do, or didn't think to do," he said.

"In this situation, you're not going to hit all points, ever."

Lawyer Adam Rodgers, who has been a keen observer of the inquiry's proceedings, expects Campbell's apology to put even more pressure on other senior-ranking RCMP members yet to testify, like retired Assistant Commissioner Lee Bergerman, Chief Supt. Chris Leather and Commissioner Brenda Lucki.

Lucki says tense meeting with N.S. RCMP after shooting spree 'needed to happen'

  Lucki says tense meeting with N.S. RCMP after shooting spree 'needed to happen' OTTAWA — RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki says there was poor communication between her office and Nova Scotia Mounties in the days following the shooting spree that left 23 people, including the gunman, dead in April 2020. "It was for this reason I called the meeting (on April 28) to express my frustration and disappointment," she told the House of Commons public safety committee Monday. "It needed to happen. It was essential that I had more timely and accurate information.

"If Darren Campbell is saying this, then it's inconceivable that others couldn't agree," said Rodgers. "He's speaking at a senior level, so it puts pressure on these other officers to express some similar contrition."

Read more:

Chronic RCMP officer shortages in rural areas evident in N.S. mass shooting: Mountie

The National Police Federation, which represents the majority of RCMP members, maintains that first responders did everything they could given the resources that were available.

"The RCMP needs to be better resourced with human and financial across the country, even in the province of Nova Scotia, to improve public and police safety," said Brian Sauve, president of the federation.

Chief Supt. Chris Leather, who was among the first to tell the public about the 2020 mass shooting, concluded the first part of his testimony on Wednesday. He's expected to face cross-examination on Thursday.

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Top N.S. Mountie wanted an officer dismissed for sexual misconduct — but Commissioner Lucki disagreed .
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