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HomeCanadian NewsPartner of gunman who killed 22 requires policing reforms at inquiry

Partner of gunman who killed 22 requires policing reforms at inquiry

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HALIFAX — The partner of the gunman who killed 22 Nova Scotians within the 2020 mass taking pictures is asking for improved police coaching and dealing with of home violence.

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Jessica Zita, a lawyer representing the killer’s partner Lisa Banfield, instructed a federal-provincial inquiry Thursday that police ought to have recognized that the gunman was a excessive threat to trigger vital violence given his “alarming historical past.”

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“The police failed to guard the folks of Nova Scotia from the perpetrator by failing to observe up on alternatives to establish him as a threat on various events relationship again a number of years,” Zita mentioned Thursday.

Lengthy earlier than Gabriel Wortman killed 22 folks in an April 2020 rampage by means of rural Nova Scotia, he assaulted a youngster in 2001, he threatened to kill his mother and father in 2010 and he instructed somebody that he needed to “kill a cop” in 2011.

A former neighbour of the gunman, Brenda Forbes, has testified she instructed police that Wortman had pinned Banfield to the bottom in July 2013 however nothing was achieved about it.

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Zita mentioned police ought to replace their protocols and coaching so they’re higher outfitted to establish “high-risk circumstances” and reply to home violence.

“There have to be a mandate in the direction of coaching officers to respect and empower victims of home violence, together with these which can be reluctant and ambivalent,” Zita mentioned.

“Police forces must be educated on coercive management and the way it manifests,” she mentioned.

Erin Breen, who represents Girls’s Authorized Training and Motion Fund, Avalon Sexual Assault Centre and Wellness Inside, instructed the inquiry that knowledge reveals a excessive correlation between perpetrators of mass killings and prior historical past of gender-based violence.

Banfield has testified that Wortman assaulted her and threatened her with weapons on quite a few events all through their 19-year relationship. Inquiry interviews have additionally discovered that he was violent along with his first spouse.

“It’s due to this fact at our personal peril that we, as a society, cling to uninformed biases and stereotypes to dismiss gender-based violence as a non-public matter that doesn’t have an effect on us personally,” Breen mentioned.



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