The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in British Columbia has issued an apology after a ‘cat filter’ was used during a press conference about a double murder on the Alaska Highway.
The incident happened on Friday during a Facebook live news conference by the RCMP “E” Division as spokesperson Sergeant Janelle Shoihet, was updating reporters on the murders of Australian Lucas Fowler, 23, and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese, 24, in northern B.C. last week.
National Post correspondent Tyler Dawson managed to capture a screenshot of the cat filter, which included cat ears and whiskers, superimposed on the officer and posted it to Twitter.
Some people on social media assumed the filter was a prank, but RCMP replied to a screenshot of the video and said it was caused by an “automatic setting.”
The RCMP was criticized online for the embarrassing display and for showing disrespect to the families of the victims.
The video of the blunder was removed from Facebook and later re-recorded.
The NSW police have sent two of their officers to act in a liaison role and assist the RCMP in their investigation.
According to an RCMP media release, a blue 1986 Chevrolet van with Alberta license plates was located at the scene. RCMP wanted to speak with people traveling in the area between Sunday, July 14, at 4:00 p.m. to Monday, July 15, 8:00 a.m., who may have dashcam footage.
Anyone with information relating to the blue van or the deaths of Fowler and Deese, and have not already spoken to police are asked to contact the Northern Rockies RCMP at 250-774-2700.
Investigators say it is too soon to tell if the victims were targeted or if their murders were a crime of opportunity.