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Editorial: RCMP’s horse sense lacking

(Editorial, Calgary Herald) – ou would think the RCMP in Alberta would have better horse sense. Apparently not.

For more than 15 years, wild horses have been getting shot in the area near Sundre, long before the Mustard Seed Street Ministry bought the Mountain Aire Lodge five years ago as a tool to rehabilitate lives broken by addictions and homelessness.

It’s not surprising that the RCMP would be eager to make an arrest in these terrible crimes, but clearly the RCMP was overeager when it arrested the general manager of the lodge, Jason Nixon, with the most flimsy of evidence.

On Wednesday, all charges against Nixon, Earl Anderson, Gary Cape and Nixon’s son, Markus, were withdrawn, completely exonerating the men, whose lives have unravelled as a result of the charges.

In January 2010, RCMP surrounded Nixon’s house near the lodge with guns drawn and arrested him and the three others, including his then 12-year-old son, on the word of a longtime crack and crystal meth addict who was seeking a $25,000 reward into the horse shootings.

“Any criminal lawyer will tell you whenever a reward is posted, you get the risk of obviously financial motives entering the picture,” said Don MacLeod, the Calgary lawyer representing Anderson.

As Nixon’s lawyer, Willie deWit, pointed out, you would expect the RCMP to have used more diligence when the reward was a motivator and its hoped-for recipient was a longtime addict.

The RCMP needs to learn from this travesty of justice stemming from their lack of horse sense and common sense. An investigation should be launched and the officers involved should be held to account.

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Categories: Broken Force.

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