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Sask. RCMP release statement on review of North Battleford officer

An internal review of the officer involved in Brydon Whitstone’s death found the only gap in procedure was how officers were handled immediately after the shooting.

RCMP policy requires officers involved in critical incidences, like the shooting of Brydon Whitstone, to be separated immediately after.  Cst. Abbott’s removal and separation from the scene met policy requirements.

However, all the responding officers, while removed from the scene, did have the opportunity to come together for an emotional/wellbeing debrief at the Battlefords RCMP Detachment the night of October 21, 2017.

The RCMP says the debrief was to check in with the officers involved and ensure they were aware of the emotional and mental health support services available.

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The Manitoba RCMP were asked to review all the facts in the case. The RCMP say this is to ensure procedures and policies were followed and see if the officer’s actions were compliant with the RCMP Act and Regulations.

The review’s only recommendation was to remind RCMP members and supervisors of the importance of “keeping involved members separated and reminded that they are not to discuss events in regards to this type of serious incident.”

The RCMP say this recommendation has been followed through by the Saskatchewan RCMP on August 10 when a Divisional communique was issued to all officers.

The RCMP do not believe this had any impact on the investigation into Whitstone’s death and say evidence led to the conclusion that officers acted appropriately.

In a statement, the Saskatchewan RCMP say policing can be a difficult and demanding job.

“At times, it calls for split-second, life-or-death decisions to be made under great duress.  It is a heavy burden of responsibility that our officers carry, but it is a responsibility that we train for and that we take seriously.”

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