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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another









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3/04/2005

This should not have happened

His voice tight with grim self-control, Alberta's commanding RCMP officer groped for a way Thursday to describe a catastrophic drug raid that left four young officers lying dead in a quonset hut.

"I'm told you have to go back to about 1885 in RCMP history and the Northwest Rebellion to have a loss of this magnitude," said assistant commissioner Bill Sweeney. "It's devastating. We're all in terrible shock and mourning." Also killed was the man believed to have shot the officers, a 46-year-old loner.
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This is first a horrible tragedy. These were our guys. Our Mounties. The RCMP is part of and at the heart of communities throughout Canada. To lose one member is an outrage. But four men? To a loner busting a grow op?

For the moment the senseless waste of lives will be the story. As it should be. Then there has to be an investigation of how four armed and trained men could possibly have been put at such risk.

This is not the time for that investigation; but the deaths of four Mounties suggests something is fundamentally wrong with the force which sent them into harm's way.

Pace Minister McLellan - this is not about grow ops. It is about a police operation gone horribly wrong. The gun which killed them was fired by a man who was known to the police, who had been in prison. This was not, or should not, have been an operation undertaken without full intelligence, proper surveilance and enough planning to ensure the safety of the members involved.

The memory of those members demands a full inquiry.