NPF Responds to Jury recommendations from New Brunswick Coroner’s Inquest

October 12, 2021

Ottawa, ON — Following is a statement from Brian Sauvé, President of the National Police Federation, responding to a New Brunswick Coroner’s Inquest jury recommendations delivered Friday, October 8, following the death of Rodney Levi on June 12, 2020, near Sunny Corner:

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Mr. Levi who continues to grieve his loss, as well as with the RCMP Member involved in this incident.

Our Members put their lives on the line every shift protecting their communities, and often experience lasting trauma of their own from these rare and tragic events. Mental health calls with highly agitated, armed subjects are among the most dangerous situations our Members face, and use of force becomes a last resort when all efforts at de-escalation fail.

It is important to differentiate between a non-binding, quasi-judicial Coroner’s Inquest, which can make recommendations and a criminal proceeding, and it is also worth noting that some media headlines in this outcome have been misleading. Generally speaking, Coroner’s Inquests only provide one of four outcomes: 1) undetermined, 2) accidental, 3) suicide (if the person died at their own hand), and 4) homicide.

A previous, independent investigation conducted by the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI) du Québec determined in January 2021 that our Member’s use of force was justified; consequently, no charges were laid.

The National Police Federation has long called for many of the jury’s recommendations, including providing greater professional mental health resources to complement, and even minimize, police involvement in such calls. While our Members are trained for such situations, a noticeably growing number of mental health calls across the country are the direct result of a lack of social supports and services for those experiencing mental health issues and, ultimately, crises. Police are called when all else has failed and the situation becomes life threatening.

Finally, in early January, we released its position statement on the implementation of body-worn cameras for RCMP Members, which welcomed the use of body-worn cameras in the name of context, transparency, and accountability, with caution against impacts to privacy and Member safety.

About the National Police Federation:

The National Police Federation (NPF) was certified to represent ~20,000 RCMP Members serving across Canada and internationally in the summer of 2019. The NPF is the largest police labour relations organization in Canada; the second largest in North America and is the first independent national association to represent RCMP Members.

The NPF is focused on improving public safety in Canada by focusing on increasing resources, equipment, training, and other supports for our Members who have been under-funded for far too long. Better resourcing and supports for the RCMP will enhance community safety and livability in the communities we serve, large and small, across Canada.

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