Tina Fontaine …The Blame Game Begins.
The following is from James Jewell’s police insider blog. Please read this and share your thoughts with me. For those who don’t know, James Jewell is a former leader of Winnipeg Police -Homicide. www.thepoliceinsider.com
The Rush to Judgement
Before we act as Judge, Jury and Executioners we should at least acknowledge that other possibilities exist. For example;
Fontaine could have either refused to provide her identity or provided a false identity to Police. If she provided a false identity the Police may have checked her name on the computer with negative results. People often give Police Officers with false names to avoid arrest or detention. If that’s the case, it’s possible the Police may have simply sent Fontaine on her way oblivious of her true identity.
If Fontaine refused to give her name the Police may have simply sent her on her way. After all, they had their hands full with an impaired driver and Fontaine may have appeared to be the age of consent. Regardless, they may have felt they were on shaky grounds detaining her any longer than they already had.
Rest assured of one thing, the internal investigation will uncover the truth. If the Officers entered Fontaine’s name into their computer the Professional Standards Unit will already have documentary evidence confirming the query.
The question around the query raises other possibilities.
Was Fontaine properly entered into the CPIC system?
Was CPIC operating at the time of the traffic stop?
Was the query properly entered by the Officers?
Were the results of the query properly interpreted by the Officers?
Police advise the Officer’s in question were a Field Training Officer and a Recruit in training. Field Training Officers are generally well versed in Police procedures and policies. Field Training Officers are not so well versed and can be prone to make mistakes.
Did the Rookie Officer make the query?
Did the Officers learn Fontaine’s true identity?
Was it accident, omission, error, a systemic issue or neglect?
These questions will be answered by the internal investigation.
As I watch the media reports I’m not amused by the blame game that’s starting shape the Fontaine case.
Just how far do we want to go as we assess blame on the two WPS Officers at the center of the controversy.
Do you want to blame them for Tina’s death?
If you do, please look at the time line again and ask yourself if that’s really fair.
The fact is Tina Fontaine was in the safe and secure custody of CFS long after the two (2) WPS Officers had contact with her on August 8th.
The very same agency the Officers would likely have turned Fontaine over to once they identified her as a missing person.
The very same agency the troubled teen had absolutely no problem running away from.
At worst, the Police Officers may have neglected their duty and obligation to take a young at risk girl into their care. If that turns out to be the case then they should suffer some sort of consequence.
That error certainly didn’t result in Tina’s death.
Tina Fontaine was killed by a very bad person.
Let’s not forget that.