N.S. shooting : the killer's wife talks about domestic violence | Portapique massacre: Nova Scotia in mourning

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Killing in N.-É. : the killer's spouse evokes domestic violence | Portapique killing: New Écoss in mourning

Lisa Banfield, the spouse of the perpetrator of the April 2020 shooting in Nova Scotia, testifies above at the Mass Loss Commission public hearings on July 15 2022. His lawyer gave his final verbal arguments to the commissioners on Thursday.

The wife of the author of the massacre which left 22 dead in Nova Scotia wants the improve police training and domestic violence case management.

Jessica Zita, a lawyer who represents Lisa Banfield, told the federal-provincial commission of inquiry into the spring 2020 shooting on Thursday that police failed to protect citizens by not following up on complaints. allegations of violence that had targeted the killer.

According to her, the police should have determined that the shooter posed a high risk of causing significant violence given his alarming history.

Mr. Zita pointed out to the commissioners that some of these allegations go back several years.

Long before the shooter killed 22 people in April 2020, he had assaulted a teenager in 2001, he threatened to kill his parents in 2010, and the following year told someone he wanted to kill a cop.

One of his former neighbours, Brenda Forbes, said she told police he had pinned Ms Banfield to the ground in July 2013, but nothing was done about it, he said. – she says.

Ms Banfield's lawyer said Thursday that police should update their procedures and training, so they are better equipped to identify high-risk circumstances and intervening in domestic violence cases.

Police officers should respect and empower victims of domestic violence, including those who are reluctant and ambivalent, Zita said. Police officers should be trained in coercive control and how it manifests.

Erin Breen, who represents Women's Legal Education and Action Fund, Avalon Sexual Assault Center and Wellness Within, told commissioners that data shows a strong correlation between perpetrators of killings and histories of gender-based violence.

Lisa Banfield testified at the; investigation that her spouse assaulted and threatened her with weapons numerous times throughout their 19-year affair. Investigative interviews also revealed that he had been violent with his first spouse.

It is therefore at our own risk that we, as society, we cling to uninformed biases and stereotypes to dismiss gender-based violence as a strictly private matter, one that does not affect us personally, Ms Breen said Thursday.

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