Blackfalds residents were kept in ‘darkness’ during shooting

What on God’s green earth is with this Twitter garbage now being used to pass on information about potentially deadly situations, as opposed to sounding alarms like Amber Alerts.

I just read the Twitter posted by the Town of Blackfalds, warning residents to lock doors and head into their basements.

And, as per usual, as in the Nova Scotia massacre, the RCMP starts out by saying they “responded to a firearms complaint.”

A firearms complaint? Good God, a woman was shot.

Neighbour Allen Dean tells the Advocate he stepped out for a cigarette at 8:30 a.m. and was caught by surprise by a heavy police presence. He said the streets were blocked off.

He reported at least four or five patrol cars were driving around, “… but in the back alley right outside our house, there was a police officer with what looked like an assault rifle (probably) guarding the main entrance.”

Let’s do the timeline here.

The RCMP said, by whatever means they used to warn the public, they were investigating a “firearms complaint” at 8 a.m., yet the Town of Blackfalds didn’t sound the warning alarm over Twitter, of all places, until 9:19 a.m., almost an hour and a half after the initial RCMP complaint came in.

In that Tweet, the town said lock your doors and hunker down in your basements. So by doing simple math, one could conclude that when Dean stepped out for a cigarette at 8:30 a.m., the gunman was still active in the area.

There’s no other conclusion one can make.

The next Tweet by the Town of Blackfalds was at 10:36 a.m., when the RCMP advised the town there was no longer a danger to the public.

Between 8 and 10:36 a.m. — a period of two and a half hours, residents of Blackfalds were kept in a terrifying darkness on what was going on.

Getting back to this Twittering stuff. How many people in Blackfalds have a Twitter account, and out of that number, how many account holders would have been on Twitter at that time of the morning?

In the Nova Scotia massacre, the gunman moved around freely in a fake police car for more than 12 hours, and the only communication used by RCMP was Twitter.

Out of the almost one million people living in that province, only 10 per cent have Twitter accounts. And that fact was backed up at RCMP press conferences.

The RCMP are notorious for withholding details surrounding such shootings, since they are not held accountable for their actions by the communities they police.

They answer only to Ottawa headquarters. And by being tight-lipped, they are ecouraging “rumours” to be spread over social media.

So what’s the real story behind the Blackfalds incident?

Rick Zemanek is a Blackfalds resident.

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