Tuesday, April 7, 2015

THE DUNPHY TRAGEDY

I was shocked to learn that a familiar voice for the advocacy of workers rights was shot and killed by an RNC officer on Sunday.

Don Dunphy was a father, a contrarian,  he was frustrated with a system that he felt disadvantaged injured workers, he was passionate and he was depressed. 

His passion and frustration was often on display in the local Twitterverse where he often chirped in with caustic observations directed at the status-quo and government officials.

Over time, I have had many a private discussion with Don about his issues. The latest being his concern that a staffer in the Premier's office that was reviewing his file had been let go. 

His issue with Workers Compensation spanned Liberal and Progressive Conservatives administrations, he was not partisan -  just passionate. Last Friday week a Twitter post copied to the Premier and a Cabinet Minister  caught the attention of those responsible for protecting our elected officials from crackpots.

According to the RCMP, the investigating RNC Officer ( who is part of the premier's security detail) contacted the Holyrood detachment to discuss Dunphy and ascertain a threat assessment. Apparently, they felt he was not much of a threat. The plain clothes RNC officer travelled to Mitchell's Brook in an unmarked police vehicle on Easter Sunday to have a chat with Dunphy. Somewhere, somehow the conversation went off the rails, Dunphy allegedly threatened the officer with a loaded rifle forcing a confrontation that led to lethal force being used.

The aftermath has created a political and social justice storm. 

The narrative, that a man pulled a gun on an RNC officer who was than forced to defend himself - shoot or be shot, has been eclipsed by the view that a mentally disturbed individual who questioned government policies was shot and killed by a member of the premier's security team. 

The only witness - the shooter.

Talk about messy! 

What provoked the "alleged" violent reaction from Dunphy? How did a chat escalate into a fatal police shooting? Could this have been avoided? Was the  "misinterpreted Tweet" even a threat? Did the RNC provoke a confrontation?

The RNC nor the premiers security detail, take orders from politicians. They are independent. Justice is blind.

The premier is a former RNC officer, His chief of Staff is a former RNC chief. In the past, the RNC Association has donated to the Progressive Conservative Party (and the Liberals). 

All of this has led to a growing perception, by some , that the RNC is somehow partisan.  I find that very hard to believe and discount it as rubbish but perceptions are some peoples reality. 

The perception out there is that something does not quite add up. 

Could this have been avoided? 

Can anything short of a judicial inquiry or official inquest settle the matter?


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