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Active Shooter In NS. April 19 2020

brihard

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Their accuracy was atrocious, and the C2 of the sight was deplorable, as they didn’t know the car belonged to another officer.
Standing unsupported, target moving (running) laterally from cover at 88+ meters, and I expect they never trained to shoot traversing targets before… We’re talking small town police who get the necessary mandatory training but otherwise spend most of the time dealing with drunk drivers, domestics, and burglaries. Tough to fault them for a deficiency that they hadn’t been trained to do better at.

C2 absolutely went to shit. I hope the organization learns to rectify this- but even at that this situation would likely have overwhelmed pretty much any rural policing setup.
 

Halifax Tar

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Apologies, I didn't see the orange quote replies.

Police use of force is not and cannot be measured to a standard of perfection, but rather to what is reasonable in the circumstances. That has been affirmed time and time again in court. These officers had exceptionally little time in the worst possible circumstances to make a decision. The factors they identified absolutely allowed for a justifiable use of deadly force. It proved in this case to be an incorrect interpretation of the facts, and it could have been a deadly one. Fortunately they missed. With that said, in such little time, with so many threat cues and factors matching the suspect to work with, their interpretation of the fact set was absolutely understandable and many if not most police officers would probably have made the same determination, whether or not they were then in that brief time able to translate that into action. This was not a break and enter suspect. This was a mass murderer who showed every ability and intent to continue to kill, and would shoot at and kill police to do so. The fact that, by cure coincidence, an innocent person almost perfectly matched the description they had of the suspect AND behaved in a dangerous way AND was corroborated by a marked police car is a terrible set of circumstances, but one they were still bound to act in. Again, had that been the shooter and they had not fired, I bet you would have been screaming bloody murder about that.

Whether or not you 'expect more' is immaterial. Nothing you've said suggests you're equipped by training or experience to make the kinds of determinations you're making those who are, and who HAVE had to make those determinations, have done so and have cleared them for their actions on that terrible day.



That was a total miss on my part. I was wrong and I'm sorry. That was @Eaglelord17 , not you.



I did CLPs in Afghanistan too. Utterly different set of circumstances. Better analogy would be if there had been a series of firefights, several friendlies had already been killed, you had a description of a specific enemy and the vehicle they were last seen in, you encountered him and in a matter of a second or two he tried to take off when you challenged him.

"Intent' of the shooter was abundantly demonstrated already. All the evidence they had at hand was that the matching male they saw was that person. There is no expectation that the person be allowed to concretely demonstrate their intent in the moment, because the human reactionary gap means that's likely he gets the first shot off. The officer's reasonable perception of the threat and articulartion of what they reasonably expect the person's intent to be suffices.

"Proximity": Per the SIRT report, they were around 88 meters away. That's well within the dangerous distance of a believed active shooter with a firearm.

"Capability": All available information was that the suspect was capable of killing, and had done so repeatedly, including one police officer already killed and another injured. Per the SIRT report, one of the two officers who fired had been personally told by the suspect's wife that morning that he had "several rifles described as “guns like the military people have…the ones that are like thirty-two rounds”." Given that when they encountered the individual he was partly concealed behind the car, and was 80+ meters away, it would not be reasonable to expect them to know with certainty exactly what he had access to. In the circumstances, having already been given information that he was armed with at least one long gun, it would be reasonable to believe that that level of threat was still present.

The male was running towards the entrance of the fire hall when he was shot at. Given that they believed on reasonable grounds that the man they were shooting at was the mass murderer the entire province was hunting, and that he had been killing civilians and police right up to that point in time (he had killed three more in the past hour alone), it was reasonable to believe they they had to shoot to stop an imminent threat to life. I don't know what you imagine could have allowed them an opportunity to better determine their target in that situation with the limited time and considerable distance they had to work with.

Again, read the report.

I will try to keep a standard response.

No one at that fire hall met that threat matrix. You know why ? Because Gabriel Wortman wasn't there they weren't him, and the officers would have known that if they had approached and and investigate the scene. Your whole argument is based on "ifs".

Whether or not you 'expect more' is immaterial. Nothing you've said suggests you're equipped by training or experience to make the kinds of determinations you're making those who are, and who HAVE had to make those determinations, have done so and have cleared them for their actions on that terrible day.

If you say so. But I will say that if we want people to have faith and respect in our police forces again one of the steps is police forces need to stop protecting the shitty cops.

You are barking up the wrong tree.

If you read the repeated comments above, you would see a reasonable person would be able to surmise that the targeted individual was potentially the shooter - and when they became evasive upon being ordered to show their hands, they became a target due to the situation.

Accuracy has nothing to do with PID - positive identification -
You can argue their PID was poor - but I belief that due to the moment in time there is a reasonableness to their engagement.

Their accuracy was atrocious, and the C2 of the sight was deplorable, as they didn’t know the car belonged to another officer.

There is a lot of fail to the situation- but you cannot judge based on the knowledge of hindsight.

The guy in the vest did exactly what I would expect of some one in his position and in that moment. He's a civi that ran and hide when cops were pointing guns and screaming in his direction. If you believe that clears those officers to open fire then again we have vastly different expectations of our policemen and women.

We absolutely can judge on hindsight and we do it all the time. In and out of courts.

Oh for sure. The actions of the guy in the vest are totally understandable. What he knows is he’s talking to a cop in a cop car, the situation is utterly fucked (he probably knows much less than officers do), and suddenly a civilian car rolls up and two guys with rifles get out nearly 100m away and start yelling at him. No doubt he was spooked. Totally reasonable on his part. That said, none of that feeds the knowledge or reasonable perceptions of the officers. They didn’t know they had another cop on scene, comms were jammed up, and the guy looked, acted, and was situated consistent with a mass shooter who posed an active threat of killing. To them it probably looked like they had caught the shooter dismounting to go wipe out the occupants of the firehall, and then he ran towards the entrance.

I feel for the guy and I hope he gets a good payout in compensation. He deserves it. But not because what they did was unreasonable.

Again where is that capability, proximity and intent. They guy ran and hid. That doesn't fit anything in that threat matrix.
 

Booter

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Here’s a new direction in the conversation:

This incident would have been reviewed:
1) from a conduct perspective by the RCMP.
2) and was investigated by Nova Scotias SIRT team. Which is led not by a cop- but by a retired judge who is also a university professor of law amongst other things.

The SIRT investigation- also liaises with the provincial prosecution service for opinion etc.- all civilians

So a civilian run investigation- and civilians with, what I would suggest in my dealings with external review, a pretty incredible wealth of knowledge comparatively,

They conclude that it was above board. Having access to all the facts. Which we don’t.

Here’s my question: what kindve Civilian oversight would satisfy people so they could say “I don’t get it- but that’s thorough and impartial”.

What is missing?
 

Booter

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Standing unsupported, target moving (running) laterally from cover at 88+ meters, and I expect they never trained to shoot traversing targets before… We’re talking small town police who get the necessary mandatory training but otherwise spend most of the time dealing with drunk drivers, domestics, and burglaries. Tough to fault them for a deficiency that they hadn’t been trained to do better at.

C2 absolutely went to shit. I hope the organization learns to rectify this- but even at that this situation would likely have overwhelmed pretty much any rural policing setup.
Coms in Atlantic region have been an issue for decades. No money to improve- and poor cell net as well.
 

brihard

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I will try to keep a standard response.

No one at that fire hall met that threat matrix. You know why ? Because Gabriel Wortman wasn't there they weren't him, and the officers would have known that if they had approached and and investigate the scene. Your whole argument is bases on "ifs".



If you say so. But I will say that if we want people to have faith and respect in our police forces again one of the steps is police forces needs to stop protecting the shitty cops.


The guy in the vest did exactly what I would expect of some one in his position and in that moment. He's a civi that ran and hide when cops were pointing guns and screaming in his direction. If you believe that clears those officers to open fire then again we have vastly different expectations of our policemen and women.

We absolutely can judge on hindsight and we do it all the time. In and out of courts.



Again where is that capability, proximity and intent. They guy ran and hid. That doesn't fit anything in that threat matrix.
“Threat matrix” is not a term in policing or in law. I have explained, repeatedly, the considerations and legalities that go into this. I have referred you to the SIRT report (have you read it?) and am prepared to point you to some case law that digests police use of force decisions, but frankly at this point I think my time would be wasted.

I understand and respect that this was a situation that also carries some emotional loading for you. With that said, you’ve doubled- and tripled-down on trying to push a clearly unqualified perspective and narrative of the situation. To be blunt, you think you know what you’re talking about, but you don’t. Police use of force is a matter completely governed by law, and in the time since this event you have not chosen to get at all acquainted with that. That’s fine, that’s your choice to make, but your expectations are worth exactly what any of us have paid for them.

Not the first time someone will think they know what police should have done and have all kinds of opinions on what they think individual police are capable of in a crisis. Won’t be the last either. Fortunately the actual decisions get made by those more invested in understanding the realities of these events.

At least you admit you’re merely judging the situation in hindsight. I respect your honestly in conceding that.
 

KevinB

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I will try to keep a standard response.

No one at that fire hall met that threat matrix. You know why ? Because Gabriel Wortman wasn't there they weren't him, and the officers would have known that if they had approached and and investigate the scene. Your whole argument is based on "ifs".
You aren’t going to approach a suspect near a vehicle - they could have long guns etc in there and the Vehicle itself is a deadly weapon. You want to gain control of the suspect from cover and place them in a disadvantaged position - and you need to see their hands because that is where the action is.
If you say so. But I will say that if we want people to have faith and respect in our police forces again one of the steps is police forces need to stop protecting the shitty cops.
See @brihards response as to the SIRT
The guy in the vest did exactly what I would expect of some one in his position and in that moment. He's a civi that ran and hide when cops were pointing guns and screaming in his direction. If you believe that clears those officers to open fire then again we have vastly different expectations of our policemen and women.
The moment in time. It is what use of force standards are based off.
As @brihard stated - yes given his knowledge it is reasonable - but that doesn’t make the officers actions unreasonable based on what they knew at that point in time.

We absolutely can judge on hindsight and we do it all the time. In and out of courts.
You can learn from things with hindsight - but you cannot use hindsight to just UoF issues.
The situation needs to be reviewed based on what the officer(s) saw at the precise moment in time they made the decision to use force, and if it was reasonable based on what they knew then.

Again where is that capability, proximity and intent. They guy ran and hid. That doesn't fit anything in that threat matrix.
Lots of armed shooters will run - doesn’t mean they aren’t still a threat.
 

Halifax Tar

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“Threat matrix” is not a term in policing or in law. I have explained, repeatedly, the considerations and legalities that go into this. I have referred you to the SIRT report (have you read it?) and am prepared to point you to some case law that digests police use of force decisions, but frankly at this point I think my time would be wasted.

I understand and respect that this was a situation that also carries some emotional loading for you. With that said, you’ve doubled- and tripled-down on trying to push a clearly unqualified perspective and narrative of the situation. To be blunt, you think you know what you’re talking about, but you don’t. Police use of force is a matter completely governed by law, and in the time since this event you have not chosen to get at all acquainted with that. That’s fine, that’s your choice to make, but your expectations are worth exactly what any of us have paid for them.

Not the first time someone will think they know what police should have done and have all kinds of opinions on what they think individual police are capable of in a crisis. Won’t be the last either. Fortunately the actual decisions get made by those more invested in understanding the realities of these events.

At least you admit you’re merely judging the situation in hindsight. I respect your honestly in conceding that.

My friend one does not need first hand knowledge to comment on something. This forum is full examples of that.

Also, much like the military, police affairs will be dissected by the public and in NS the public smell something funny, no just around the Onslow firehall but around this whole incident. And we, the public, are allowed to have hindsight. I think its all about protecting a service and individual careers.

Remove my personal connection to this. You will never convince me that those POs are somehow justified in firing those shots. If I was a cop I wouldn't want to be on patrol with one of them.

 
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Booter

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You don’t have hindsight. That implies you have information and knowledge. You have a some articles and sound bites. There is a difference. And I enjoy your posts- I always learn things on this forum- but here I’m at a loss.

You want accountibility- you were pointed at the mechanisms that do it AND you’ve been asked what would be more assuring?

An investigation that starts at “they are shitty cops” wouldn’t serve the public either. That makes “fuck it- drive on” cops.

This is the literal first time I’ve ever heard it suggested that rcmp management and government is going through something to protect some constables career.
 
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Halifax Tar

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You don’t have hindsight. That implies you have information and knowledge. You have a some articles and sound bites. There is a difference. And I enjoy your posts- I always learn things on this forum- but here I’m at a loss.

You want accountibility- you were pointed at the mechanisms that do it AND you’ve been asked what would be more assuring?

An investigation that starts at “they are shitty cops” wouldn’t serve the public either. That makes “fuck it- drive on” cops.

Are you disputing the existence of shitty cops or are you arguing these two officers arent shitty ?

Shitty doesn't just mean corrupt. I know lots of shitty people in the CAF but I wouldn't say many are corrupt. Incompetent, absolutely.

Much like many in NS to me this whole scenario, public inquiry and the internal investigations smells rotten. And the more it goes in and is released the worse it gets.
 
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Booter

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Are you disputing the existence of shitty cops or are you arguing these two officers arent shitty ?

Shitty doesn't just mean corrupt. I know lots of shitty people in the CAF but I wouldn't say many are corrupt. Incompetent, absolutely.

Much like many in NS this whole scenario, public inquiry and the internal investigations smells rotten. And the more it goes in and is released the worse it gets.
The difference is- I don’t know these officers well enough to call them “shitty”. I have one, poorly managed event, in a vacuum.

I run into shitty cops all the time, I bet on the wrong day I’ve been called one.

I’ve also seen the most useless people in uniform lauded in the media, I know the media doesn’t deal in reality.

Where you see conspiracy- I see the culmination of complacency, and a lot of officers trying to make the fog of a situation work.

If you’re suggesting that the federal and provincial governments are trying to avoid a black eye because of their layers and layers of lazy systems, and outdated infrastructure, and the failure of the provincial management bodies to predict and build contingency.

Yes.

But these two at a table in the inquiry? Nope. They are two dudes dealing in an event no one anticipated, with systems and equipment meant for 1989 rather than 2022, without support after eating a box of pizza pops and checking their emails.
 

Halifax Tar

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The difference is- I don’t know these officers well enough to call them “shitty”. I have one, poorly managed event, in a vacuum.

I run into shitty cops all the time, I bet on the wrong day I’ve been called one.

I’ve also seen the most useless people in uniform lauded in the media, I know the media doesn’t deal in reality.

Where you see conspiracy- I see the culmination of complacency, and a lot of officers trying to make the fog of a situation work.

If you’re suggesting that the federal and provincial governments are trying to avoid a black eye because of their layers and layers of lazy systems, and outdated infrastructure, and the failure of the provincial management bodies to predict and build contingency.

Yes.

But these two at a table in the inquiry? Nope. They are two dudes dealing in an event no one anticipated, with systems and equipment meant for 1989 rather than 2022, without support after eating a box of pizza pops and checking their emails.

Since we're dealing in "ifs" what if they had shot and killed one or more person at that firehall ?

Is it still just a "whoops sorry, I felt scared" scenario like this one ?
 
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Booter

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It isn’t unprecedented that an innocent bystander gets shot, if they were found to be not criminally negligent in their initial belief- they would be, along with the organization, open to civil liability.

I know that’s sterile. But it’s how things are legally,

There’s also guys working that have shot into moving cars when they shouldn’t have and killed passengers- they still have jobs.

I am of the opinion that you should be able to release people easier in the police services. Maybe not with “dishonour”, for lack of a better term, but service no
Longer required.

I will review several events a year where a police officers decision making makes me raise my eyebrow and I’ll think that it would be in everyone’s best interest that THIS person not be a police officer.

But I have to work in the confines of the system that’s there. So when we talk about the system in general, not specifically about these two because they were reviewed At multiple levels, the system is completely busted. Serves no one- and protects people from being held accountable just by the shear lumbering bureaucracy.
 

Booter

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To give you an idea of the system- I’ll decide if I want to handle something through performance or conduct- if I do it through performance I can have it resolved in a month or two, if I put it into conduct- it’s not unheard of they’ll be off for two years, paid, and if they are found wanting- they’ll lose a certain amount of pay. For having been off for 18 months,

Then if they are recommended to be released…it’s appealed and dragged out for years.

Or, I can make performance recommendations and try and salvage them- because when they go off that unit won’t fill their position. So while they eat cinnamon toast crunch at home, their coworkers are working short.

The present system isn’t designed to even get rid of real issues, well before you get to guys that potentially made a split second mistake while TRYING to do the right thing.
 

Booter

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Here are the conduct decisions- these are conducts that are in the more significant realm. They don’t publish the minor ones (there are allegations that get “meetings” and ones that get “hearings”)


Look at the very first one. Accused- June 2019, decision? Deep in 2021. Recommended for release- what it doesn’t say? It’s under appeal. Still going- as far as I’m aware anyways.

I am your partner in wanting this fixed. Not for the case we re discussing necessarily but in order to do anything- you’d have to have a mechanism. The mechanism is damaged. So it’s not a reasonable outcome to expect here.
 

Fishbone Jones

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I have a few questions. Brihard mentioned a 'small town police force'
You mentioned 'systems and equipment meant for 1989 rather than 2022, without support after eating a box of pizza pops and checking their emails.'

Are these all RCMP? The RCMP are our national police force. Do they not all get the same training? Do they not all have themselves physical requirements? Are we to assume that these officers were incapable of performance due to lack of training? They got surprised and reacted to such. Do we then assume the RCMP in other small towns across Canada are likely to react the same way? Your own statements don't exactly instill confidence in ordinary citizens. Comms is always a problem. Our office actually had to order the OPP in our county to upgrade their systems and the pushback I got from senior personnel was incredible. I don't know what other equipment meets the standard of antiquated but you are armed with modern C8 assault carbines, I have no idea what sighting system it uses, but we used to shoot 500 meters with iron sights. What kind of force doesn't teach shooters how to lead a moving target? Perhaps some time on the skeet range instead of shredding paper indoors.Vehicles are just a means to get A to B. I could suggest hard armour in the trunk, if they get into a shootout. What other modernization are you missing? Now, by my reading, either the RCMP in Ottawa are the same standard as these 'small town police force' or the STPF are undertrained, out of shape and incompetent. Which is it?
 

Booter

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Coms and the ability to move information around is the equipment I’m talking about. Their firearms and HBA are fine.

If you arrest two people a year, and no one fights you- and you have ten years of service you are less prepared than someone who trains on their off days, keeps their kit in order, is putting cuffs on dozens of people a month. Responding to shootings and using incident management on a regular basis.

It is not the same. So they recert like anyone else and they sit and rust the rest of the year. I don’t really know how to quantify that better. And we don’t move Mounties around as much as we used to- so a guy does ten years with no violence and then responds to unprecedented violence. Officer B who runs and chases and uses systems all the time will be faster at making decisions inside that environment. Officer A has to catch up a lot longer. If there is a solution to this problem- I’ve never heard of it. It’s been around a long time,

In many regards divisions (provinces) are their own beast. The prairies have multiple levels of tactical response- Atlantic region doesn’t, or not as many, and not to the same depth either.

I can draw two helicopters, and a dozen assaulters towards a farm field in Alberta in a few minutes,

I cannot in Baddeck.
 

Booter

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But you can assume they didn’t have training for this scale of event. Yes. Because we seem to gloss over that before this happened it has never happened before in Canada and really has very few proxy’s elsewhere.

It is not uncommon to have two Mounties on for hundreds of square kms in places. Infinite training cycles so they CX moving targets at hundreds of yards is not an option.

There is a place where investigations and operations intersects with training, a GENERAL play area that the overwhelming majority of events will fall into- that’s where the training is aimed.

Any training for the 0.001 event takes away from them doing the job they have to do. If you want them trained for that- they need immediate 25-30% increase in staffing and a lot of money poured into a training budget.

Or, you accept that “okay” is good enough and we leave these events to incredibly specialized units- that are also struggling to recruit and fill positions.

One spot, and I mentioned it already, that can be improved this month- is the command and control from NCOs. Presently it is my experience that we have basically no expectation of them operationally. Develop a course, push them through scenarios where they actually plan and coordinate a response. Not just the five scenarios on a particular course…that only half out NCOs wind up getting
 

Booter

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On the topic of physical shape- I have an operational member in my area who last did their physical testing in 2008. It’s not a requirement in the RCMP.
 

Fishbone Jones

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No one expects any cop to shoot movers at hundreds of yards. Skeet shooting takes place inside 40 yards. Cops should be able to take a mover at that range. When it comes to police, firing shots in public, OK is not good enough. The death of a bystander, OK is not good enough. If that person was a child, OK is not good enough. Shit happens. We know. However, that is not an excuse. If you have trouble recruiting enough officers, similar to the CAF, you need to spend some money and drill down to the cause. Lucki is a PM appointee, she should be able to influence her boss to give you what you need. Especially, if it looks like he'll be on the hook for something where he needs her help again.
 

mariomike

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On the topic of physical shape- I have an operational member in my area who last did their physical testing in 2008. It’s not a requirement in the RCMP.

What about a medical? Even though healthy and uninjured, I had to redo my medical every three years.
 
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