Friday, January 8, 2010

Killer of Ottawa police Const. Eric Czapnik had been decorated for bravery as an RCMP officer in Saskatchewan

Full article HERE:
"Officer slain as he sat alone in cruiser" - by

MORE on the murder of Ottawa Police Officer by RCMP Officer at"RCMP WATCH - Who is keeping them accountable" site at :

Criminologist calls for inquest in Ottawa cop-killing case

Megan Gillis (QMI Agency) – A prominent criminologist is calling for a coroner’s inquest into the “disturbing” facts surrounding the killing of Ottawa police Const. Eric Czapnik.

Irvin Waller, a former senior official with the office of Canada’s solicitor general – who is responsible for the RCMP – and now a professor of criminology at the University of Ottawa, argued Thursday that a trial can only find whether suspended RCMP officer Kevin Gregson is guilty or not.

An inquest, on the other hand, could examine whether he fell through the cracks between the mental health and criminal justice systems or if the people who have been concerned about his past behavior – including his RCMP bosses – could have stopped him.

“Clearly there are a lot of questions that need to be answered other than what will happen in a criminal trial,” said Waller, an expert on crime prevention.

“We have to ensure that something like this – however exceptional – can’t happen again.”

Gregson was stripped of his gun and badge in 2005 because supervisors in Regina said he was hostile and paranoid.

In 2006, he threatened a Mormon official with a knife and was handed a conditional discharge by a judge who cited past brain surgery in sparing him jail time.

Waller wonders if a mental-health court – like one in Ottawa that links offenders with treatment – could have helped Gregson.

Instead, he was ordered to resign from the RCMP in 2008 by an adjudication board that called him impulsive, irrational and excessive.

“I’m really raising questions from looking at the facts and saying these facts are pretty disturbing,” Waller said. “We have to make sure there’s action. Is there anything more effective in terms of prevention? Very clearly, people knew quite a lot about this guy before he (allegedly) did what he did.”

The province’s chief coroner can decide to hold an inquest if it’s in the public interest to have a public examination of the circumstances of a death, or a coroner’s jury could make recommendations that could prevent similar deaths in the future, Dr. Roger Skinner, the region’s supervising coroner, said.

But the chief coroner – whose motto is “we speak for the dead who protect the living” – doesn’t order an inquest until after the criminal process unfolds.

“It’s a possibility – certainly in this case it’s too early to say as yet,” Skinner said.