Call the Dunphy inquiry now
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.