Are there more problems within the RCMP than there were when I was a youth or did they just not get the press in those days?
It may be just a sign of the times; no personal discipline and no clear understanding of the difference between right and wrong. Or it could be the inability to screen out marginal recruits due to human resources concerns. All of the above?
I don’t like to pick on the Force but there just seems to be a lot of this stuff showing up in the media and it goes from top to bottom.
I have mentioned some cases in earlier blogs but two more are in the news.
One of them began last fall when an RCMP officer in Halifax lost her cool when off duty and during a domestic dispute at home shot up her house. The judge recently gave her a far better deal than most of us would have received in similar conditions.
A Mountie who had “a bit of a meltdown” and fired nine bullets from her service pistol into the wall of her home has been put on probation for a year and will have no criminal record so she can continue what the judge called “an exemplary career.”
Const. Adree Zahara won’t have to perform community service as prosecutor Chris Nicholson requested because Judge Anne Crawford said Const. Zahara, as a police officer and single mother, already gives back to the community every day.
The judge also imposed a two-year ban on possessing weapons rather than the 10-year ban Mr. Nicholson asked for, saying the lesser term would still be a deterrent but would allow Const. Zahara to continue her career.
Even her colleagues were not happy with the ruling.
Last week, two senior RCMP officers spoke to The Chronicle Herald on condition of anonymity. They said they thought Const. Zahara was getting preferential treatment, both in the criminal case and the internal investigation, and that it was damaging to the rank-and-file members and the public’s perception of the RCMP.
“Their credibility is totally destroyed,” one veteran officer said of RCMP management and the force’s handling of the investigation. “She should have no credibility as a police officer. Period.”
The other case involves an officer in Merritt, B.C. who is up on charges for the alleged beating of an aboriginal man.
Crown prosecutors in British Columbia have taken the unusual step of charging a member of the RCMP with torture.
Const. Saxon Peters was already facing charges of aggravated assault, unlawful confinement and two counts of obstruction of justice in connection with the alleged beating of an aboriginal man.
This one is reminiscent of the case in Saskatoon where an aboriginal man died after being taken out of town in sub-zero weather by City police and left to find his way back on foot. That was a well publicized case and you would think that every police officer in Canada would have that case seared into his brain.
These things fall into the “what were they thinking?” category.