KAMLOOPS — As Kamloops continues to try to understand what appears to be a violent gang war playing out on its streets and why, police are challenging readers to choose their sources of information carefully.
They specifically targeted information reported by Kamloops This Week, which relies almost entirely on anonymous “justice and law enforcement officials” to make the case that the most recent spate of violence and murders are being carried out by two men trying to establish control of territory in the aftermath of Konaam Shirzad’s murder. The article refers to Erwin Dagle, a 24-year-old former drug dealer who was recently sentenced to a decade behind bars, according to court documents and an unnamed key suspect in the murder of Troy Gold.
Kamloops RCMP responded to the series of articles in a written statement sent to all media outlets on Friday, March 8 making a broad allegation of 'inaccuracy' without any specifics.
“When it comes to sensitive cases, not all law-enforcement officials have access to the information,” Kamloops RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jodi Shelkie says in the statement. “As seen in this case, this article contains information known to be inaccurate mixed with factual content.”
When iNFOnews.ca contacted local police to specify what was inaccurate, Shelkie would not elaborate saying it could jeopardize investigations.
“When we read the article, we realized it contained inaccurate information and posed a risk to any involved people named in it,” Shelkie said in an interview on March 8. “We wanted the public to realize, this [information] was not from a credible source.”
Kamloops This Week editor Chris Foulds says the newspaper had been working on the stories for weeks and sat down with Staff Sgt. Simon Pillay with the information they had prior to releasing it in an article. They had an opportunity at that point to raise any concerns and specifically confirm or deny any information.
They chose not to do that, he says.
Foulds says the RCMP hasn't explained in any detail what they claim is wrong or inaccurate since the stories were published.
“We trust the sources we talked to,” Foulds says.
He admits it’s possible for some minor details to be off, but believes the substantive details to be facts.
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