Melanie Patton’s grief and anger are palpable.

Melanie Patton’s grief and anger are palpable.

"I have so many words, feelings, and none of them feel right, none of them make me feel good... but they must be said," she told the Free Press.

Supplied</p><p>RCMP Const. Shelby Patton ‘was proud to enforce the law, and did it as kindly as he could,’ his mom, Melanie Patton, wrote.</p></p>

Supplied

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton ‘was proud to enforce the law, and did it as kindly as he could,’ his mom, Melanie Patton, wrote.

Patton’s son, RCMP Const. Shelby Patton, was killed June 12 in Wolseley, Sask. in a hit and run while conducting a traffic stop.

Winnipeggers Alphonse Stanley Traverse, 41, and co-accused Marlene Velma Louise Pagee, 42, were arrested outside Francis, Sask., hours after the 26-year-old officer was struck by a suspected stolen truck. The pair face manslaughter charges in the officer’s death.

In an emailed response to the Free Press, Patton, a civilian RCMP employee in Stettler, Alta., reflected on her son’s commitment to policing.

"He was proud to enforce (the law), and did it as kindly as he could." If everyone could emulate her son’s example, "there would be no need for police," she said.

However, the unfortunate reality is there will always be the need for policing, she said.

Patton said her son hated the way drugs and alcohol could lead to addiction and family breakdowns.

"He stood his ground on anything that corrupted a person," she said.

Melanie Patton's letter 

Justice for Const. Shelby Patton

I have so many words, feelings, and none of them feel right, none of them make me feel good... but they must be said. Everyone wants to honour Shelby which is appreciated, touching, and it comes from the heart. However, he stood for the very word itself and was the very definition of it. Honour. But there is more…

I have so many words, feelings, and none of them feel right, none of them make me feel good... but they must be said. Everyone wants to honour Shelby which is appreciated, touching, and it comes from the heart. However, he stood for the very word itself and was the very definition of it. Honour. But there is more…

Shelby was on the law’s side and he stood tall for it. He was proud to help enforce it, and did it as kindly as he could. If we all could strive for such power, then there would be no need for the police. There will always be the need, which is unfortunate but reality. But there is more…

Regardless of the situation, Shelby hated drugs. At one point he even hated alcohol. He told me, “It leads to addiction and that leads to family breakdown.” While he may have lightened that view a bit later on in his young life, he stood his ground on anything that corrupted a person. If there is a substance that changes a person’s ethics, views, and behaviour to the point where the person wants it, needs it, and will do anything to get it whether sober or not, then we have a problem. Enforcement is needed more so, and further strain is put on the officers and the system. Victims are born, crime is real, and hurt prevails. But there is more…

Our reality is that we live in a world where crime is increasing exponentially and drugs are everywhere. If you think that it has not touched your life, just wait. It will happen. It is no longer questionable. The drugs are stronger, more addictive, and whether a person is under the influence or not, there is a driving need for more drugs, more money to get drugs. This thirst has become blood thirsty. The scales of justice do not reflect the increased nature of the crime today. The scales have tipped, and for the victims, the families, and the people in your neighborhood, the world has tipped. As an individual, if you fight back, you will lose. Never before have the criminals had more power, more rights, more benefits, and more ability to capitalize on a life of corruption. The offenders know this and no longer have fear of getting caught or facing the system. There is no remorse, only a driving need to continue. Life no longer matters. This is clear and cannot be argued. But there is more…

Justice has many definitions, but one that stands out against the rest is the administration of deserved punishment. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, is dramatic and has fallen to the way side. Capital punishment is not the answer either. Or is it? Sometimes people are so corrupt that their evilness must be dealt with to keep society safe. Protect the innocent. Good lives matter, and should matter more than those who choose to hurt, to inflict pain and suffering, to steal from the ones who work, sweat, and bleed just to earn a few dollars. There must be justice for the victims. There must be justice. Where is the justice now? Is it when the convicts sit in a jail conversing, working out, getting high, eating well, watching movies, staying warm when the temperature plummets? Jail is not a holiday. Jail is not a vacation from the real world. There must be more…

While some may be convicted in court, many are not. If only the public knew the exact count of how many get their charges withdrawn, or stay of proceedings, or simply discharged. The public would be outraged. The revolving doors of justice slap the victims in the face, and leave the world open to further crime. Why? The system is overtaxed already? Courts are running behind, and the pandemic does not help? So then it is okay for crime? Crime triumphs. This is where my hearts breaks, not just in the death of my son, an officer and a gentleman.

All law enforcement is taxed to the maximum. Officers are expected to uphold the law with superhuman effort. And when the world needs someone to blame, the officers are the first in line to take the brunt of the insults, the hate, and they stand there, proudly taking it so that civilians do not. I see the hate. I see the blame. I wonder how anyone can project such feelings, and then I realize that the scales are tipped. Anger is the easy way out. When people do not know what else to do they lash out. I see how it starts and how people want to fight but do not know how to react or who to fight. I see the level of discontent rising. I see how some lash out against the police and the law. I see the parents or families of the criminals blame the police. They do not really see. Parents do not see their darling child for what they have become. They do not see the criminal. They do not see the truth of the matter and are quick to levy the blame. They do not see their angelic child kick, hit, fight, spit, and spew the words of utter hatred. They do not hear the caterwauling in the cells when the human is lost and the animal comes out. It is easier not to see, but take the blinders off, and then there is more…

Our officers are tired. Their families are rife with worry and anxiety. Will the beloved family member return after shift? Maybe not. But not one walks away when they are needed. No victim is left alone. Everything is done to continue the fight against the ones who choose to break the laws. To what extent does society expect this to go? How hard do we expect these soldiers to fight? If we do not have the scales of justice to level the playing field, we are fighting a losing battle. I see it every day. I see the victims. I see their faces. I see the police members returning from scene, and I wonder where is the justice. I see the court dispositions, and I grow angry. What are we fighting so hard for if the law is not on our side? Because there is hope that we can change it. We can make the world better. We can ask what is there that can be done and strive to accomplish it. When we are done, we can ask what can we do to make the world even better. There is no stopping us. But what is the right answer? Is it more officers? Is it more support for the police? Is it increased penalties to match the crime? Is it more courtrooms? More officers? More aid for addiction? More aid for mental health? More enforcement against drugs? Even if this helps a little then we are winning and tipping the scales of justice back to where they belong. Level. We need more, not less. We need justice. It is the least that we can do. Ask a victim. Visit the grave of those who have fallen. Look into the eyes of those who are left behind. See the insurmountable volume of hurt. Where is the justice? Where is the honour? Where is the humanity?

We must fix this in order to restore justice, honour the fallen, support the victims, the families, the friends, the co-workers. We must protect those who chose to fight this unyielding opponent. We must stand together. We must become better. Then we can rest, when we have justice and honour.

— Melanie Patton

Addictions change "a person’s ethics, views, and behaviour to the point where the person wants it, needs it, and will do anything to get it," she said. Rising need for enforcement related to addictions issues strains on "the officers and the system," she added.

"Our reality is that we live in a world where crime is increasing exponentially and drugs are everywhere," she said.

With drugs stronger and more addictive than ever, she lamented people being driven by a "blood thirsty" need to feed those addictions.

Despite those challenges, Patton said criminals are being given unprecedented power, rights, benefits and opportunities to capitalize on "a life of corruption" — without fear of consequences.

"There is no remorse, only a driving need to continue. Life no longer matters. This is clear and cannot be argued," she said.

As she considers the idea of justice in the wake of her son’s death, she says one definition that stands out is the doling out of deserved punishment.

"An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, is dramatic and has fallen to the wayside. Capital punishment is not the answer either. Or is it?" she said. "Sometimes people are so corrupt that their evilness must be dealt with to keep society safe. Protect the innocent. Good lives matter, and should matter more than those who choose to hurt, to inflict pain and suffering, to steal from the ones who work, sweat, and bleed just to earn a few dollars."

Justice should be for the victims, she said.

'The revolving doors of justice slap the victims in the face, and leave the world open to further crime' ‐ Melanie Patton, mother to slain Mountie Const. Shelby Patton

"Where is the justice now? Is it when the convicts sit in a jail conversing, working out, getting high, eating well, watching movies, staying warm when the temperature plummets? Jail is not a holiday," she wrote.

"The revolving doors of justice slap the victims in the face, and leave the world open to further crime."

While victims are let down, officers are expected to "uphold the law with superhuman effort," she noted, expressing frustration towards the "the insults, the hate" directed at police.

"I see parents or families of criminals blame the police... Parents do not see their darling child for what they have become. They do not see the criminal," she said.

Officers are tired, she said, and their families are rife with worry and anxiety.

"Will the beloved family member return after shift? Maybe not," said Patton.

She wondered what society expects of officers and what is need going forward.

"Is it more officers? Is it more support for the police? Is it increased penalties to match the crime? Is it more courtrooms? More officers? More aid for addiction? More aid for mental health? More enforcement against drugs?"

For Patton, she remains focused on that idea of justice, "tipping the scales of justice back to where they belong."

"Ask a victim. Visit the grave of those who have fallen. Look into the eyes of those who are left behind. See the insurmountable volume of hurt. Where is the justice? Where is the honour? Where is the humanity?"

Melanie Patton’s full letter appears on the Free Press website.

cody.sellar@freepress.mb.ca