Friday, April 10, 2015


The RNC officer who was forced to use lethal force to defend himself when Don Dunphy pointed a loaded rifle at him last Sunday has issued an indirect statement

The officer felt compelled to write his fellow officers to discuss how conflicted he was with not being able to resolve the situation and his regret that Dunphy was too far gone for another level of intervention to have been possible. The letter was leaked to the media.

Many have been quick to judge this tragic situation, some for personal reasons, some for partisan reasons and others for the sensationalism.  A number of times this week, I have been challenged when I pointed out that the officer was simply doing his job when he found himself facing the business end of a rifle. "Allegedly" they pointed out, or "sure the cop is the only witness"

I do not doubt that the member fired in self-defense. I do not think our police force is some sort of black ops unit that snuffs out dissidents.  The RNC enforces the peace, it is made up of many highly capable individuals. Right?

No matter what the process was that brought this officer to Dunphy's door on Easter Sunday, the reaction - pointing a loaded gun at an officer of the law precipitated the deadly outcome.

I trust my police force, I believe in justice. I regret that society is so distrustful of authority that there would ever be those that would propose that the officers word, as the sole witness, is not good enough. I have to believe the RNC operate with dignity, fairness, and respect for the law and the public.

No doubt, there is a breakdown in trust between police and communities because of the headlines related to the stories dominating the headlines in other jurisdictions.  Police have had to soul-search about how they operate.

The officer speaks to a vocal minority on the Open Line Shows and social media wanting " an immediate cyber-trial in a veritable  town square". 

I think a much larger segment of society is confused about how this happened. We all want to understand. 

We, you, society as a whole, need to have confidence in our police force. Incidents like this must be examined, scrutinized, reviewed and studied.  

An inquiry will be difficult for everyone involved, but it is a necessary part of police accountability, oversight and integrity.  

Public trust is too important to leave anything unexplained.Transparency is more than a buzzword, it is key. We will see though the spin.

Such a review should not be considered an indictment of the RNC, but an integral component of ensuring confidence in our justice system. 


Brad Cabana said...

Peter, the officer is under investigation. If he was a professional he would never speak out to anyone on the matter til it's over. We don't know that Donny did or didn't pull a gun. We also don't know the reason why he pulled a gun if he did. I think you make a big error by taking the shooters word for things. Police or not. The forensics are likely to solve that part, but they won't resolve the culpability of the Premier's office sending his body guard to "investigate" a twitter "threat" that was never a threat - at least not for anyone who is literate.

Peter L. Whittle said...


I have to give the benefit of the doubt to the RNC Officer. I think nothing will be settled by the RCMP investigation of the shooting. An inquiry is needed. I hope my faith is not misplaced.