November 30, 2017 11:47 am
Updated: November 30, 2017 8:44 pm

Prosecutor seeks maximum fine against RCMP in deadly 2014 Moncton shooting spree

Thu, Nov 30: The Crown is asking for the maximum fine, as the RCMP sentencing hearing began in Moncton. The force was convicted in September under the Labour Code for failing to provide its offices with proper weaponry and training to respond to the June 4, 2014 shooting deaths of three Mounties. Shelley Steeves reports.

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A prosecutor is asking for the maximum fine against the RCMP for Labour Code convictions stemming from gunman Justin Bourque’s 2014 Moncton, N.B., rampage that left three officers dead and two injured.

Crown prosecutor Paul Adams said a $1 million fine would amount to “a clear declaration of disapproval” of RCMP conduct that left its officers outgunned and ill-prepared.

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READ MORE: RCMP guilty of 1 Labour Code violation in 2014 Moncton shooting

The force knew of the need for better weaponry seven years before the Moncton shootings, he told Moncton provincial court judge Judge Leslie Jackson Thursday.

“There was a confusing lack of urgency in dealing with this type of risk,” he said.

Bourque had targeted police officers in the hopes of sparking an anti-government rebellion.

READ MORE: ‘Lives could have been saved’: Moncton shooting widow shares victim impact statement

Constables Fabrice Gevaudan, Dave Ross and Doug Larche were killed, while constables Eric Dubois and Darlene Goguen were injured in the shootings.

Defence lawyer Mark Ertel suggested a penalty of $500,000, much of it as donations to groups suggested by the Crown.

Jackson convicted the national police force in September of failing to properly equip and train its members.

The judge was given victim impact statements from the wives of two fallen officers on Thursday.

One of them, Angela Gevaudan, said in a recording that as a dispatcher with the Moncton-area Codiac detachment, she was aware of safety concerns for officers prior to the June 2014 shooting.

WATCH: RCMP announces changes to protect officers after 2014 Moncton shootings

“I feel there was not an appropriate process to address those concerns,” she said.

Gevaudan said there needs to be an independent process to monitor and address safety concerns.

She said that knowing there were safety concerns and not being able to have them addressed only increased her mental suffering and she now suffers from PTSD.

Adams told Jackson that if the RCMP officers had the proper training and equipment, it would have been “a game-changer.”

“They (the force) was responsible to prepare the officers to deal with this situation, which they failed to do,” Adams said.

Under Fire: Were Moncton RCMP officers ready for the call?

Adams also asked that the RCMP be ordered to make a public statement on what measures have been taken since the Moncton tragedy.

Ertel said since 2014 the force has made a clear acceptance of responsibility.

He said the introduction of carbine rifles “could” have made a difference, but the Crown did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they “would” have made a difference.

Bourque pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 75 years.

 

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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