People will make up their own stories

We didn’t include much last week about a tragic situation that was unfolding north of High Prairie. Apart from mentioning that a police dog named Jago had died in the line of duty, we held off reporting, and here’s why: Lack of precise information from the law enforcement authorities.

As usual, they seemed to be saying a lot, but without actually saying very much. There are such big gaps that some news organizations are tempted to fill them in with certain speculations. For example: nowhere in any of the RCMP releases on the incident did we see anything about shooting. Jago was killed, they said, but not how.

Then: the suspect died on the way to the hospital. But not how. Not of what sort of injuries. Not a word.

But that didn’t stop one Edmonton news org. from calling it ‘a shoot-out.’

Maybe it was a shoot-out. No doubt the police have their reasons for being so opaque. But it inevitably leads to people jumping to conclusions and some of those will inevitably be wrong. Why not just tell us that Jago was shot, if that’s what happened? And why not just tell us that the person police were chasing in Winagami Lake Provincial Park was shot, if that’s what happened?

But no, we’re left to speculate. So we do.

Or some of us do. The Leader at least attempts not to. All we know for sure is police are grieving the loss of a highly trained and loyal canine helper. And a family is grieving the loss of a son and brother. And nobody has any answers, because for whatever reason, the police don’t want to provide them.

In the absence of facts, people will make up their own stories.

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