The Saskatchewan RCMP feels it is important to correct some inaccurate information contained in one recent news article about the day Cst. Patton was killed. We recognize the public's interest in police work and from the beginning of this tragic incident, we included a significant amount of detail, to keep the public informed of what took place on June 12. Our news partners play a major role in this information sharing. We know both reporters and the general public want to know more, but often the RCMP cannot provide details for a number of reasons, such as it impacting court proceedings or the safety and privacy of individuals involved.
Rarely does the Saskatchewan RCMP publicly acknowledge the hurt and ripple effects caused by the public broadcast of inaccurate information. In this instance, it is critical we acknowledge the following errors included in this news story:
- Investigators have interviewed the alleged witnesses quoted in this story and confirmed they were NOT in the community of Wolseley at the time of the incident on Saturday June 12; however, they did return to the community AFTER all of the events related to the incident concluded. Therefore, they could not have witnessed the incidents as indicated in the media story.
- Investigators have collected evidence that shows there is no view of the incident scene from the alleged witness' nearby apartment.
- We can confirm that at no time during the interaction with the white truck and suspects, did Cst. Patton's firearm leave its holster.
Adding to the compounding effects of distributing inaccurate information, there are other far-reaching impacts to those directly involved. This includes diverting investigative resources from critical aspects of the ongoing investigation to interview the alleged witness and having to expose another RCMP officer to the specific details of the tragic death of Cst. Patton.
This is a reminder that RCMP employees are people too. We continue to grieve the loss of our colleague. The public cannot 'un-read' or 'un-share' the inaccurate information contained in the original article.
We respect that we all have a job to do and it is the Saskatchewan RCMP's job to ensure the public has accurate information until all evidence regarding this incident can be presented in court.
- The Saskatchewan RCMP