N.S. shooting : Senior officer admits inadequate public communications | Portapique massacre: Nova Scotia in mourning

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Killing in N.-É. : senior officer admits inadequate communications to the public | Portapique killing: The News -Éscotland in mourning

Chief Superintendent Chris Leather , from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Nova Scotia, on April 19, 2020 in Dartmouth

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer who was among the first to release information about the 2020 Nova Scotia shooting to the public testified Wednesday that some of the early descriptions provided by police did not ;were not “in line” with the reality of what had happened.

Superintendent Chris Leather is the second senior officer to provide evidence at the public inquiry into the killings of 22 people by a gunman who was driving a replica RCMP cruiser on April 18-19, 2020.

Commission counsel Rachel Young questioned Mr. Leather about the words he used at press conferences and in releases, including his comment during the April 19, 2020 press conference that the RCMP responded to a firearms-related call the night before.

It was also the innocuous phrase used by an RCMP communications officer in the first Twitter post about the event at 11:32 p.m. the previous night, although the RCMP knew then that an active shooter had murdered several people in Portapique, Nova Scotia.

Three days later, Mr. Leather said during another press conference that he was very satisfied with the first messages sent by the RCMP.

Mr. Leather agreed with Ms Young on Wednesday that in fact the term misrepresents reality and is not in line with RCMP policies requiring police to provide accurate information to the public.

I think the way it was portrayed […] is not consistent with what we were dealing with, he said.

Mr. Leather's duties as a Criminal Operations Officer, which he has held since November 2019, include overall supervision of RCMP policing operations in Nova Scotia.

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