Call the Dun­phy in­quiry now

The Compass - - EDITORIAL -

An­drew Par­sons ex­pressed frus­tra­tion about how long the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the shoot­ing of Don­ald Dun­phy had taken. The jus­tice min­is­ter was also miffed about the lack of in­for­ma­tion avail­able.

“I don’t know what the fac­tual find­ings are,” he told me­dia last Tues­day. “I haven’t seen (the po­lice re­port). And I think I speak for a lot of peo­ple in this prov­ince when I say, we want to know.

“I think the proper place for this to come out is un­der an in­quiry.”

On Easter Sunday 2015, Don­ald Dun­phy was shot and killed in his Mitchell’s Brook home by Royal New­found­land Con­stab­u­lary of­fi­cer Joseph Smyth.

The of­fi­cer, as­signed to then-premier Paul Davis’s pro­tec­tion de­tail, was con­tact­ing Dun­phy to as­sess a po­ten­tial threat against the premier based on Twit­ter com­ments.

The RCMP in­ves­ti­gated the shoot­ing and it has been guarded with any de­tails about the in­ves­ti­ga­tion or the case since the in­ci­dent oc­curred.

The Moun­ties’ re­port was com­pleted in Jan­uary and sent to the Al­berta Se­ri­ous In­ci­dent Re­sponse Team (ASIRT) for re­view.

ASIRT’s con­clu­sion, af­ter care­ful scru­tiny, was made pub­lic Tues­day. It de­ter­mined the RCMP’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion was ad­e­quate.

How­ever, reps from ASIRT and the RCMP also briefed Dun­phy’s daugh­ter, Meghan Dun­phy, Tues­day. Ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from her lawyer, Erin Breen, ASIRT told Meghan Dun­phy ev­i­dence was lost dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and that it had iden­ti­fied a lo­cal in­ex­pe­ri­ence in in­ves­ti­gat­ing po­lice shoot­ings.

Meghan Dun­phy wel­comed the Jus­tice min­is­ter’s com­mit­ment to an in­quiry. She hoped it would fi­nally pro­vide her with some an­swers. She’s had more ques­tions than an­swers for al­most a year and a half now. And that’s far too long con­sid­er­ing her loss and the na­ture of the in­ci­dent.

She de­serves bet­ter. She de­serves clo­sure and needs res­o­lu­tion so she can move on, as much as one can in such a sit­u­a­tion. She should not have to con­tinue en­dur­ing the painfully slow wheels of process and bu­reau­cracy.

That’s why An­drew Par­sons shouldn’t add to anx­i­ety. He should call an in­quiry into the shoot­ing of Don­ald Dun­phy now, to­day, so Meghan Dun­phy can fi­nally start get­ting those an­swers. He ex­pressed his frus­tra­tion Tues­day. Imag­ine how she feels? The pub­lic needs some an­swers on this, too, to help re­new con­fi­dence and faith in the sys­tem. And it’s only through an in­quiry will we ever know where things went wrong. We haven’t been able to get an­swers on the shoot­ing of Don­ald Dun­phy any­where else.

An in­quiry will also iden­tify any changes that need to be made in the event there is another in­ci­dent like this one.

Hope­fully there never will be.

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