* Day 39: Monday, September 16 * Day 42: Thursday, September 19 * Day 40: Tuesday, September 17 * Day 43: Friday, September 20 * Day 41: Wednesday, September 18
Posted by FreeMedia
Abbreviations used in notes:
DC = Don Campbell (Defense)
SF = Shelagh Franklin (Defense)
GW = George Wool (Defense)
ST = Sheldon Tate (Defense)
MA = Manuel Azevedo (Defense)
HR = Harry Rankin (Defense)
LB = Lance Bernard (Crown)
JF = Jennifer Fawcus (Crown)
J = Judge
Sgt. Ken Gates (KG) back on witness stand for cross-examination.
GW - KG agrees his role is more administrative than operational, meaning it's more in line with office work than being in the field. Agrees he does not command individual ERT members. Says he gets ammunition for ERT. When the police were on site at Gustafsen Lake, he says every team had access to thousands of rounds, meaning in total, there was over 10,000 rounds. He says he doesn't know how many rounds were expended at Gustafsen Lake. He admits he was the person to order bullets, but he isn't aware of any accounting for expended bullets.
Admits he was involved in long-term planning and agrees that this would involve getting winter equipment. GW suggests that Olfert's plan was to wait out the camp and KG says that the plan was to contain camp and continue negotiations. Says that in long-term plan, he is only aware of plan to contain and negotiate. He knows of no plan to assault the camp in the long-range plans. In planning, he agrees that the RCMP members' salaries were already covered, but additional lodging and meals would have to be added to the public purse if the plan went ahead. He has a note that the Commanding Officer rejected the long-range plan on Sept. 7th. Supt. Olfert submitted the long-range plan. KG believes that, like himself, Olfert's salary is set.
Doesn't know that Assistant Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner's salaries aren't set and that they are paid performance pay too. Doesn't know why Deputy Commissioner Farrell rejected the plan. Knows Farrell is stationed in Vancouver and that he, like KG, is an administrative officer. KG agrees that he is not a front line operational officer. KG agrees that Olfert would know the ground and conditions of Gustafsen Lake more than Farrell would. Confirms that Farrell only flew in on one occasion to his knowledge. Farrell flew in and flew out. Assistant Commissioner Brown was with Farrell. Agrees he flew with Farrell. Says the two flew with bulletproof body vests.
KG denies that once the long-range plan was denied, an event would have to be staged by the RCMP. When suggested that land mines were used, KG denies that land mines were used. Does say that what blew up truck with was an "explosive device." He doesn't know the name of it because he didn't order it. That was the responsibility of the explosives ordinance unit. He wouldn't know of its use because he is in an administrative position. Says the short-term plan was the same as the long-range, but agrees that blowing up the truck wasn't part of negotiations and says it's possibly used for containment. GW: "Yeah, but that's a little farfetched."
Agrees he saw truck blow up on video several hours after incident because he wanted to see what happened. He can't recall if Montague was also watching the video then. Agrees that Montague would have access to the Wescam viewing room. Montague works in same building as KG. Confirms that Montague's role was to make press releases in an organized manner. Agrees that on video, he also saw a dog being killed. He can't recall hearing any media of a dog being killed.
He cannot confirm that on that day, the first bullet shot was by the RCMP when the dog was killed. Says the best person to confirm this is Insp. Kembel or the persons that were there.
On Sept. 7th, in the helicopter, he agrees that the best he can say is that he heard four shots, but never saw anyone point a rifle and fire at him. Agrees that he cannot disprove that the shots he heard came from someone target practising on the ground. Nor can he disprove that the gun was not from the camp, but was in the hands of someone bringing it in to the camp. Confirms that he transmitted that he "heard" four shots and no one else saw someone shoot at them.
GW reads from Vancouver Sun that camp occupants fired at a police helicopter. KG admits that there were only three persons in that helicopter that day when they heard the shots. He admits that he never told this to a media person. Agrees that he never made his statement until days later. He doesn't know how the information that a helicopter had been shot at got to the newspapers. Admits that he never went to Montague because he was concerned about misinformation being spread about this incident. He had heard of protests against the camp, but won't speculate that these protests are fuelled by media reports. Agrees that he can't say that he was fired on while in the helicopter.
Agrees that he knows all the ERT commanders in the province and on a first name basis. He has a lot of contact with them. Doesn't remember an article in the Vancouver Sun regarding a Sept. 4th incident at 8:45 p.m. where police were pursued through the bush all night. Doesn't remember the incident. Doesn't remember any ERT members being stalked through the night. He does remember two ERT teams were in overnight. Says that teams reported over radio of being probed. Says he heard this as it occurred. They reported being shot at, but KG doesn't know the end analysis of the incident. Says it would be speculative for him to comment that this incident was created.
DC - DC shows KG his notebook. KG says that reference to "Glock and black Talon" is about a weapon seized at Gustafsen Lake. DC suggests that this was seized in Williams Lake, but KG doesn't know. Re: "ARWEN gun" - says this is a "supposedly non-lethal" weapon that they never got. Re: "U.S. spy satellites" - they wanted to get photos. Re: "stinger spike belts" - agrees these were a way of stopping vehicles and also agrees that this was not the device used on the red truck. Says that ERT teams could have ordered this. Re: "Green light" - says this regards night vision and green light that emanates from rear of device. Re: "dispersion weapon" - blast dispersion is 37mm CS or CN gas. A chemical weapon designed to be used against people. They were ordered.
"Green light to engage" regarded permission to use some kind of force, but isn't sure if this pertained to gas. Says chemical weapon shouldn't cause death. He is not aware of blanket green light policy to shoot all armed natives. Says this would seem very improper. Re: "maintain mindset" - regarded maintaining state of mind - says this was said because some people were in a relaxed mode and the next note of "suntanning shorts" was indicative of the relaxed attitude by some of the members. "Each team contact Stewart re: booby traps" was for members to contact Officer Stewart to learn of trip wires. Says trip wires were hooked up to either explosive devices like stun grenade or a monitoring device. Agrees that stun grenades were used and that army member blew off some fingers with one. "Grisly - stun flares" draws a blank in KG's mind. DC suggests that a Grizzly is an armoured vehicle with a turret mounting a .50 calibre weapon. KG doesn't know of these being used, but agrees that he wouldn't necessarily know. To his knowledge, Grizzlies weren't used.
"16:45 debrief - ceasefire" - KG doesn't know what this refers to. "17:16 - when vehicle in position, and members can effect it, engage targets of opportunity" -KG can't recall what this refers to. (Suniva is reading a book where it says that Vietnam was a real blow to America because despite the U.S. superior firepower and Vietnam's small size, America lost because the Vietnamese were fighting a righteous fight while U.S. soldiers didn't know why they were fighting. Trond notes that it sounds amazingly like Gustafsen Lake. Both agree.)
"White people agenda" draws a blank. "Red vehicle target of opportunity, take it if you can safely. Red loaded with water." Agrees that this was the truck that was blown up and that this truck was used to transport safe water to the camp. When DC suggests that a Stinger spike belt could take out a truck safely, KG says he doesn't know because he's never used one. "Body gone" referred to a body in one of the foxholes. "Copy of No Fire" refers to map of no shoot zone, but KG doesn't know when that would have been available.
"Frags" in KG's mind means fragmentation grenade, but says he never ordered them. Says he was doing four jobs at one time so there are many different notes, but he doesn't know what all these mean. "Abe - .50 Cal" inquiry to Ottawa about use of a .50 cal sniper rifle. "No target ammo" draws a blank. DC suggests that these are used by snipers, but KG says that this refers to practice ammo that is cheaper to use. "4x14 Leopold" is a type of scope that can be used on any weapon. "Tripod" draws a blank even when DC suggests this is used for snipers. "Native constables on site" regards time after camp was abandoned. KG says this was a note for procedures following arrests. Doesn't know why native officers are noted. "No souvenirs" was a reminder not to take items off the site.
MB/ MA - KG agrees that he described that 80% of his work was as a quartermaster, which is a person in charge of equipment. The other 20% was spent at briefings. Says overall Operational Plan was not his responsibility though he admits he read it, but not sure when. The one plan he mentioned was retrieving the Suburban. Others were surrender, moving positions from one place to another, plan to set up observation position with Special I. Briefed by Insp. Moulton in Kamloops. Figures he saw plan in first half of his being at Gustafsen Lake. MA has KG look over Operational Plan submitted by the Crown. KG believes this to be secondary plan. First plan was created by ERT and was later revised. Some of the plans he reviewed were signed by him, but not always. All plans were signed and dated by the Commanding Officer.
MA shows him a bunch of plans given by the Crown. He sees Suburban Plan (signed by KG), Surrender Plan, second revision Operational Plan from Aug. 25 (this isn't signed by him), Supplementary Plan (with space for his signature, but not signed), Delegation of Authority Plan, copy of revised plan was looked at by KG. Says that if he didn't write comments, he would give them to Moulton. Initial plan was revised later.
Re: Long-term plan GW spoke of - he's not sure what this plan was. Re: "British Consulate" - doesn't know what this meant. "Resupply by horseback" referred to idea that camp was resupplied by horse and was evading roadblocks.
For 80% - resupply part of job, he does not know how many rounds he ordered. "20,000 .223" refers to order for ammo. Says this request would go initially to centre in Vancouver to see if they had supplies. Otherwise they would request it from Ottawa. Says that his office assistant, civilian woman named Christofoli, made requests to Centre. Doesn't know where order forms went. Bill Ingram, a civilian, took over ordering supplies.
Agrees that at one time, there was a shortage of weapons and members could come to him to get more. Same with night vision goggles. MA shows KG diagram printed in Vancouver Sun of ERT member wearing night vision goggles. KG agrees that this is accurate depiction. Says he ordered 30 sets for operation. Some came from RCMP, some from Canadian military. For requests from military, he would contact Centre and someone there would contact military, but he's not sure who because assistant took care of this. Staff Sgt. Stewart requested 100 Nato steel helmets. An M-16 and MP5 for every member. Doesn't know how many stun grenades or tear gas canisters were ordered.
MA wants Vancouver Sun diagram made an exhibit and LB wonders how this is relevant to witness. MA says that it has been difficult to get exhibits made regarding ERT equipment and J agrees it might be of assistance to jury. Made exhibit.
MA - KG took care of some of the financing. Aware that it ended up costing $5.5 million and is most expensive he's aware of.
SF - KG has no direct knowledge of the legal owner of the land. He is not aware of 1763 Royal Proclamation. He is not aware settlement on unceded land is unconstitutional because he says he is not a constitutional expert. J won't allow question of whether ignorance of the law is an excuse. Agrees that he is duty bound to enforce the law. Involved in a massive enforcement of the law. Aware that operation was directed at native people, but he didn't make himself aware of the laws pertaining to natives. Has never heard of genocide laws. J won't allow question of whether KG realizes that this law says that ignorance is no excuse regarding genocide. Isn't aware that treaty is required before settlement. Isn't aware of any treaty between Canada and the Shuswap people.
J notices that ST isn't here, but MA says ST's at doctor. KG stood down.
OJ: "It really pisses me off that the RCMP can lie on the stand."
LB - Next witness (#38): Cst. Kevin Joseph Mann (KM) - Member for 15 years now stationed at Vancouver HQ. Attached to drug intelligence and field operations. Previously at Richmond drug intelligence. ERT leader of Vancouver HQ, been member for five years, two years as leader.
Requested to Gustafsen Lake area by Kamloops SubDivision. He and Sgt. Gates had briefing on Aug. 28. Met with Sgt. Bravner and Insp. Moulton. Sgt. and Insp. had been there a week before. Purpose was to get up to speed.
On Aug. 29, he went to 100 Mile House and joined other 13 members of Vancouver HQ ERT and two dog members. Included: Armstrong, Arnold, Hodgkin, Brooks, Stiller, Marsh, Brandt, Lafond and self. Mercer and Brandt were on dog squad. Joined CP (checkpoint) 1020 that afternoon. At that time, role was just to maintain checkpoint. Looks at Ex. 5 of map of checkpoints. Relieved in evening.
Aug. 30, he was to maintain checkpoint 1020 again. Negotiations were ongoing. That day, negotiators had planned for Bruce Clark to come in. Ryan and Webster with Clark. A surrender point was arranged at 1022 mark if anyone came out with Clark.
On Sept. 1, he was to insert and maintain a checkpoint at the south on "E". They were to set up electronic devices to tell if anyone passed by because at this point, this wasn't secured. Clarifies that insertion was by helicopter close to 1040. They then hiked in to area and set up electronic devices and manual devices to be able to tell if anyone was in area.
They were also to completely block the road. One tree had already been downed three km to south of E and he says this wasn't downed by police. They downed trees between 1040 and where first tree had been found. Early warning devices - two were electronically monitored. They sent a signal to their area at 1040. Other device was homemade using a percussion grenade. Percussion grenade used to get into houses or used as a grenade. Their homemade device would let police know someone had tripped it. Wire was attached in area of first fallen tree from fallen tree to standing tree. Once devices were left behind, they were extracted by helicopter. No one was left behind at this point.
Sept. 2 - stationed at 1020 again. They drew up plan to retrieve disabled and abandoned Suburban from road. Plan was enacted the following day.
Sept. 3 - Since this part of the road hadn't been secured yet, (between B and E - closer to E), they went past Suburban and established forward observation points. Once secured, ERT and Ident. members went to truck, took photos, and moved. Now checkpoint was moved from 1020 to 1029.
Sept. 4 - maintained Checkpoint 1029. Says they were dressed in cammo pants and coat and police vest on top. Sometimes they wore helmet, other cases, soft hats. On moves forward in new area, they wore Kevlar helmet.
Next few days team had some time off. He returned Sept. 10 while rest of team returned on the 9th. On Sept. 10, he met with commanders of teams and was informed that HQ ERT would be moved south again to 1040, but this time they would hold it. Negotiations were going on and when they had failed, Kembel gave them permission to move in to location. They then moved even further south, right to intersection of 1000 Road and Lakeshore Road. They set up forward observation area. They had to first clear Percy's lease. They then backed off to driveway of Percy's lease and 1000 Road.
L/ We have a new Crown Prosecutor Lorraine LaHard (a student), taking over while JF is gone for a week.
LB cont'd with Cst. Mann - Reiterates that on Sept. 10th at location below 1035, team was already in place and had got there by helicopter. He flew in then, dropped the tree and put in warning devices. When negotiations weren't successful, he took over grounds near Lakeshore Road. He flew in early around 2:00 p.m. After being dropped off, he walked to tree at 1039 mark. He was waiting for approval to move to half kilometre south of 1035 mark. In the afternoon, Kembel gave them permission to move to this point. Part of team moved along road. Remainder of team went through bush and arrived at Percy's lease to search to ensure there were no people or weapons there. Once found to be clear, they proceeded to junction of Percy's lease driveway and 1000 Road. A Bison that was moving on the road helped the team and it stayed with them when they stayed at junction.
That evening, two members of explosive ordinance unit set up explosives on road to stop vehicles from coming down road. Because of failing light, they were only able to lay down the data sheet plasticine-like explosives, but couldn't finish job so they spent night manning the position. Says they laid explosives to ensure the safety of his men and is about to explain what danger there was to his men, but HR objects. HR: "He is testifying to something he knows nothing about. The only safety that is being threatened here is those people in the red truck." LB says that Defense can cross-examine on these points. HR: "That's like a man coming here to testify that he fired 1000 yards away for his safety." Jury snickers. J says that Crown can lead, but instructs the jury this is classic hearsay.
Data sheet was laid down by RCMP members Tim Kain and Roy Gabriel. KM says that he has used data sheet in training, but never in operational conditions. Sgt. Armstrong was designated to detonate charge. Says they covered data sheet with rocks. Observation area near charge was manned constantly.
The next day, KM and explosive members finalized setup of data sheet. In late morning, Nelson SubDivision ERT came in to relieve Vancouver HQ ERT. Because this was first time for Nelson ERT, the changeover time was longer. Says data sheet is detonated by electrical charge through a pushbutton. They were to disable vehicle if "it came at them in a threatening manner."
They heard reports from the Wescam of the red truck moving and of two persons "brandishing weapons". HR says people carry weapons - not brandish them. HR: "This kind of scripted testimony is very prejudicial." DC says LB knows when this kind of testimony is coming and has a responsibility to the court to warn counsel of the type of testimony to come. LB asks if KM heard the word "brandishing" over the radio and KM says that he didn't. He likely heard that the people were carrying weapons. Heard this report around 1:00 or 1:30 p.m. Initially, truck went along lakeshore and then turned north, away from ERT position. People got out of truck and walked north, then turned and returned to truck. Truck then went south on 1000 Road. When truck passed Lakeshore Road, they knew operational plan would be enacted.
OJ stands up and he is crying. He looks upset and glares at KM. Sheriff asks J to stand down court. Jury leaves. OJ and Wolverine are led out. Courtroom is cleared.
Court back. OJ's fine now.
LB cont'd with Cst. Mann - Drawing of Lakeshore and 1000 Road area marked Ex. 204. This drawing was drawn by KM this morning. He got north marked on the bottom. At top of diagram, he's drawn driveway to Percy's lease and has marked final resting area of red truck. He explains that there were three members near intersection of Lakeshore and 1000 Road who could give the rest of the team notice. He names the members who were responsible for rear and sides of vehicle. Armstrong responsible for explosives. Dog team was standing by in case persons ran out of truck. Arthur and Lafond provided security for Bison personnel. The way the data sheet was laid was done to ensure vehicle wouldn't roll onto ERT members. Only half the roadway was covered with data sheet, which they could do because this part of the road was quite narrow. Says they used less explosives this way too, so as not to make the explosion as powerful.
Says they were 25 feet from the actual detonation. As red truck approached, forward observers told team of speed of vehicle. As it passed over data sheet, Armstrong detonated. He and Debolt came on to the road and were surprised by how much dust was raised - 85 feet high. For 30 seconds, dust obscured the view. KM couldn't tell where the truck came to rest. He heard a few shots ring out so they took cover. It ended up being Sgt. Debolt who attempted to shoot the dog. According to the plan, the Bison came on to the road. The vehicle was disabled. They didn't realize at the time that the occupants had ran into the bush. Over the radio, they learned that two or three persons had ran into the bush. KM came up to passenger's side door which was open and saw two weapons - hunting rifle and one with a clip.
Team had split into two by now after the confusion. One was going after dog and people, and others stayed with Bison. Says weapons were positioned in the middle of the truck with the butt on the floor and the barrel pointed up. He didn't handle weapons.
Says there was a lot of confusion and many people on the radios. KM moved down to forward observer's position and maintained radio communications. Says that after dog team went after persons, Bison drove to intersection of Lakeshore and 1000 Road. He waited for direction from Insp. Kembel.
25 to 30 minutes after detonation, he heard gunfire from northwest. At first it sounded like full automatic fire and other times it was single shots. This lasted for about 45 minutes. He stood by with team by crossroads awaiting instructions. After Red Bison was disabled, he was instructed by Kembel to retreat to 1040 position. The team went back and gathered there at about 5:30 and was extracted by helicopter. He never handled weapons in truck, but believes others took responsibility. That night, they were debriefed by superiors and next day, they returned to duty.
On Sept. 14, the decision was made to return to area near Percy's lease. They did so and once there, he went with dog team and found black pair of gloves. He took possession of them. On small aerial photo, he shows the direction the people ran from the truck - due west to the lake. Gloves he found were leather and he turned them over to Cpl. Kiloh.
HR - Re: the weapons KM referred to as being "brandished" - he confirms he put this in his statement, but denies he used this word to embellish the truth. Agrees that he maintained communications with Command. Nelson team had about a dozen people and were positioned in a clearing. Says that there were six people in the Red Bison. Nelson team were armed with MP5s and M-16s, Sig Saur sidearms and maybe a sniper rifle or two. In Red Bison, there was Army driver and Commander. Arseneault and Lafond of his team were in Red Bison, as was Gabriel and Kain of Explosives Unit.
Confirms he was advised that there were two persons in the truck. On west side of road, ten men were in bush beside road, and three up north by intersection. Total of about 30 persons in area. Says they had about 20-25 minutes between hearing of red truck moving to the time it was blown up. Three persons were hidden and could tell team 10-15 seconds before truck got to data sheet. Then the plunger was depressed. He believes six pieces of data sheet were used - each 18-20" wide, four feet long. It was designed to knock the truck to the east, away from the men. Vancouver ERT were mostly armed with MP5s and Sig Saur sidearms. Says MP5 would be effective to certain distance. HR: "Certainly you could make the shot here or you wouldn't make the force." Some members had M-16s. Says the dust in the air caused a lot of confusion, as did not knowing where the truck ended up. Furthermore, the two people ran right between where the two teams were located.
He learned of a no-go zone on the ground some time during his 36-hour shift. Insp. Kembel told KM that team was not in the no-go zone. No-go zone came over radio and probably by a radio operator indirectly from Insp. Kembel. Says that everyone would have heard about this over the radio.
Sgt. Debolt took a shot at the dog. HR: "There are a few words I have trouble with - the dog was disabled." KM looks at his report. HR: "A couple of shots were initiated by a member to disable the dog." HR wonders why he didn't just say Sgt. Debolt killed the dog. KM says that these were just the words that he chose to use. KM agrees that straight language is more accurate "and that's the message that's getting across here." HR wonders about the use of this language and wonders whether it's used with the intention to mislead. KM says he's not trying to mislead anyone. HR reads that the intention was to disable any vehicles that came their way. KM: "Well, any vehicle that didn't pose a threat to us, like if the persons didn't have any weapons, we wouldn't blow that up."
HR reads from KM's statement: "Okay, the objective of our team's operation yesterday was to disable any vehicle departing the no-go zone around the Gustafsen Lake enclave." KM: "We're not going to disable any truck that doesn't pose any threat to us." HR wonders if these two people posed a threat to 12 ERT members, armoured vehicles, and 12 other members. KM says yes and says that if everything had gone according to plan, two people would have been arrested. HR: "If everything had gone to plan, there would be two dead people. It was only to bad management that you failed." KM: "It was never our intention to kill anyone." He cannot speculate whether or not the shrapnel could have killed someone. Agrees he didn't put into his testimony that they were going to blow up any truck that passed them. He had heard through intelligence that the truck was going for water on a regular basis.
AB/ HR cont'd with Cst. Mann - HR wonders if KM had ever heard that the red truck had driven past the water hole, turned around and then returned to the water hole in order for the truck to be ready for immediate departure once the occupants had loaded the truck with water. KM hadn't heard of this, nor had he heard that Percy's well had been used for water. When asked about three bunkers made by the ERT members around Percy's lease, he doesn't know of that, although he saw maybe one. Agrees that the truck was a potential threat and that's why they took it out. KM says that the truck was a threat and a potential threat. Qualifies it because they were carrying weapons and claims that in the past, the people had been a threat. HR says that the past doesn't matter - only what they saw there. As soon as the data sheet was detonated, the Bison moved onto the 1000 Road and rammed the truck.
He says the written plan was completed by Sgt. Armstrong, signed by Armstrong and approved by Kembel. Written on Sept. 9. Says he reviewed the plan briefly with Insp. Kembel on the 9th. Armstrong is second in command when KM wasn't on site. That day on Sept. 11th, KM was officer in charge, Armstrong was second in command. At the point he arrived on site, KM took charge. He doesn't recall who took control of the contents of the red truck. Says someone took the weapons, but the truck was left behind when they retreated.
Marsh and Hodgkin were the designated snipers that day at the forward observation point. They were armed with M 16s. Says that in this incident, it wasn't practical to use long barrel weapons, so the M-16 became the weapon of choice. HR notes that in his statement, KM refers to sniper team three times. KM explains that that is the team he assigned to the forward observation post and in this situation, their role was not to snipe. Explosives were set by Kain and Gabriel, RCMP members with special training. On KM's report, HR notes that three persons were assigned to driver's door of truck. Two snipers were assigned to rear of vehicle. KM explains that the team is divided into "assaulters" and "snipers".
KM explains it was difficult for a message to get to the people in the Bison because they were using two radio systems. HR notes in KM's report that Nelson ERT was asked to assist sniper group up front.
Reference to retreating from Percy's lease - KM says this happened 4:15-4:30 p.m. Says day was "busy, scary, crazy...and yes, confusing." HR suggests it was a disaster. KM says that had it gone according to plan, they would have arrested two people. HR: "Instead, you just shot yourselves in the kneecaps." Reference to team being in sniper's position on the ground. KM clarifies that it wasn't just a position for sniper activity: "There was a lot of sleeping going on too." Reference to Island team refers to Victoria ERT. Explains that when he gave his statement to Kiloh, KM didn't have all his notes complete yet. Nelson ERT was given no specific responsibility other than to support Vancouver ERT if possible.
* Day 39: Monday, September 16 * Day 42: Thursday, September 19 * Day 40: Tuesday, September 17 * Day 43: Friday, September 20 * Day 41: Wednesday, September 18