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‘This is not a TV drama’: RCMP give update on Saskatchewan stabbings investigation

Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore speaks during a press conference at RCMP "F" Division Headquarters in Regina on Wednesday Sept. 7, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Bell. MLB

Saskatchewan RCMP‘s Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore gave an update about the ongoing investigation in James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon.

Blackmore said she received criticism that the RCMP’s press conference did not have answers about how Myles Sanderson died.

Read more: Saskatchewan leaders look to implement First Nations policing after stabbing tragedy

Sanderson was arrested near Rosthern on Sept. 7, but went into medical distress shortly after, and was taken to a Saskatoon hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

“The police officers who apprehended him are highly trained experts in their field but they are not medical experts or pathologists,” Blackmore said.

“When I gave my statement and answered questions, we did not know — and still do not know — the cause of death for Myles Sanderson and to speculate would be irresponsible and undermine the independent investigation being conducted by Saskatoon Police Service and the Saskatchewan Serious Incident Response Team,” Blackmore continued.

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“I have seen it written that, ‘Somewhere in the process, police failed to uphold’ our duty of care. This statement is extremely premature given we do not yet have information on what led to his death.

“I ask you all to remember this is not a TV drama where we will have all of the answers by the end of the episode. Complex investigations of this nature take time and we look forward to providing further details once they have been confirmed,” Blackmore said.

She said th RCMP is waiting for the independent investigation done by the Saskatoon Police Service and Saskatchewan Serious Incident Response Team to make such a statement.

Read more: Saskatchewan serious incident response team investigating death of Myles Sanderson

The Saskatoon Police Service major crimes section announced in a release on Sept. 8 that it would be looking into Sanderson’s death with the Saskatchewan Serious Incident Response Team.

“This investigation is complex and there is no timeline for its anticipated completion. Once completed, investigative findings will be forwarded to the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General,” read the release.

“I understand and appreciate there are still unanswered questions and we are fully committed to providing a detailed timeline once investigators have it completed.  Our Major Crimes Unit continues to work to put the pieces together so we can provide further information to the public.  Our first priority remains sharing the information with the victim’s families prior to the general public,” Blackmore said.

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Global News first reported Sanderson’s death, citing multiple law enforcement sources, who believed he died from self-inflicted injuries, which RCMP did not confirm.

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