A newly proposed class action lawsuit names the RCMP and the Attorneys General of Canada and Nova Scotia for alleged improprieties during and after the mass murder spree of April 18/19.
One of the representatives of the class action is Tyler Edison Blair, the son of Greg Blair and the stepson of Jamie Blair, both of whom were killed in Portapique; he will represent those who were victimized in Portapique. The other representative is Andrew Frederick O’Brien, the widower of Heather O’Brien, the VON nurse who was killed on Plains Road in Debert; he will represent those who were victimized on April 19, the day the murder spree left Portapique.
The legal action is initiated by Patterson Law, which initiated another class action lawsuit earlier this month that focused only on the property of the gunman, whom the Halifax Examiner is calling GW. GW’s estate is estimated to be about $1.2 million, and while receiving those assets may give some level of comfort to surviving victims and the families of deceased victims, split between a couple of dozen people, it won’t provide much monetary relief for people who have lost incomes as a result of the murders.
The new lawsuit, however, takes aim at the much deeper pockets of the RCMP and the federal and provincial governments. More to the point, however, the lawsuit makes some pointed allegations specific to failings of the RCMP, including:
• it failed to investigate reports that GW had illegal weapons, had abused women, and had stated he wanted to kill police;
• it sent too few police to Portapique;
• its public notifications of the ongoing crimes via Twitter was inadequate, and that it should have used the emergency alert system and specifically told the public early on that GW was in an RCMP uniform and using a car that looked like an RCMP cruiser; and
• it failed to secure Portapique or to establish road blocks on other roads as the murder spree continued.
The proposed lawsuit also faults the two governments for improperly regulating the RCMP.
It goes on to say that after the murder spree was over, the RCMP acted in a “high-handed, self-serving and disrespectful manner and is deserving of punishment” because:
• it “deliberately misled” Andrew O’Brien by telling him that Heather O’Brien had been shot and killed from “across the road”;
• it again “deliberately misled” both O’Brien and the public when it announced at a June 4 press conference that “nobody was pulled over in their cars by [GW] using the replica RCMP cruiser”; and
• it released Heather O’Brien’s car back to Andrew O’Brien “with gun casings and body parts still in the automobile.”
The proposed class action lawsuit has not been certified by the court, and the allegations have not been proven.
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