The RCMP wanted to keep a note on the author of the killing in Nova Scotia secret | Portapique massacre: Nova Scotia in mourning

RCMP wanted to keep secret a note about who killed in Nova Scotia | Portapique massacre: Nova Scotia in mourning

Brian Brennan of the Nova Scotia RCMP on January 23, 2018 in Halifax.

At the Commission of Inquiry into the April 2020 shooting in Nova Scotia, a deputy -RCMP commissioner said Friday he objected in May 2020 to telling the public that a police safety bulletin raised red flags about the man who would carry out this massacre, nine years later.

The bulletin had been distributed to all police forces in the province on May 4, 2011, after an officer from the Truro Municipal Police Service learned from a source that Gabriel Wortman wanted to kill a police officer and that x27;he was possibly in possession of at least one handgun and several long guns.

This Deputy Commissioner, Brian Brennan — the second highest ranking officer in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) — confirmed that another senior officer had suggested at a meeting in May 2020 that the bulletin be shared with the public, but that he himself rejected the idea.

The internal warning was not made public until the May 29, 2020, when CBC obtained the document through a freedom of information request.

The bulletin confirmed that police forces across Nova Scotia knew, nine years before the shooting, that Gabriel Wortman could be dangerous.

Yet, shortly after the April 2020 killings, RCMP claimed the individual was not known to police.

On Friday, Brian Brennan claimed to the Board of Inquiry that the bulletin should not have been made public, as it was unclear what impact it would have on the RCMP, adding that the RCMP first wanted to talk to the police about Truro.

When they told us that they wanted to publish this information, I wanted to understand for what purpose. I wanted us to assess what message we wanted to convey to the population with this newsletter. In addition, we were not the original authors, Mr. Brennan testified.

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Brian Brennan (on screen) testified by videoconference on Friday. In the hearing room in Halifax, from left to right are Commissioners Leanne Fitch, Michael MacDonald and Kim Stanton, and one of the Commission's lawyers, Jamie Van Wart.

Furthermore, Mr. Brennan asserted that he was aware that the Bulletin would eventually be released as part of an investigation into the events.

There were other more favorable times for the publication of this document, he said. I remember mentioning that it might be better for the RCMP to consult with other police forces so that we are all on the same page.

Last year, Truro Police Chief David MacNeil told investigators that shortly after the mass shooting he participated in a call with senior RCMP officers who he said , had urged him not to make the security bulletin public.

With information from La Presse canadienne

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