Joe Smyth had no reason to visit Don Dunphy, cross-examination suggests
Smyth acknowledges Dunphy tweets about premier do not promote violence
The lawyer cross-examining the police officer who fatally shot Don Dunphy is suggesting Const. Joe Smyth should not have visited Dunphy at his home on April 5, 2015.
Bob Simmonds, who is representing Dunphy's daughter Meghan Dunphy, said the premier's protective unit, which Smyth was assigned to, was set up to prevent physical harm to the premier.
Simmonds said the tweets that Dunphy sent about then-premier Paul Davis and provincial politicians "made no threat."
Under cross-examination Smyth said he had concerns about "ideation' in the tweets and they were "disconcerting."
Simmonds placing rifle in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/dunphy?src=hash">#dunphy</a> chair to see if it would have been visible to Smyth <a href="https://t.co/z3cnmEsTjQ">pic.twitter.com/z3cnmEsTjQ</a>—@CBCMarkQuinn
"But do they promote any violence towards the premier?" asked Simmonds.
"As I've always said, no," replied Smyth, who is in his fourth day of testifying at the public inquiry into Dunphy's death.
In a statement given to police, Workplace NL's executive director Tom Mahoney said Smyth told him "these guys tend to feel free to say what they like, but they don't realize there are consequences."
Smyth reached out to Mahoney for contact information for Dunphy before he went to Mitchells Brook on Easter Sunday, 2015.
Lawyer flags importance of free speech
Simmonds pressed Smyth on what he meant by "consequences" for people speaking their minds. Smyth agreed there aren't any.
Smyth has said repeatedly that he visited Dunphy to do a threat assessment. He said it was an example of proactive policing and he had hoped to build "rapport" with Dunphy.
Here are the tweets that got Don Dunphy in trouble <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/dunphy?src=hash">#dunphy</a> <a href="https://t.co/TOUAUfSNOJ">pic.twitter.com/TOUAUfSNOJ</a>—@CBCMarkQuinn
Simmonds said it is everyone's right in Canadian society to voice opinions, as Dunphy did.
"What gives you the right to interfere with his freedom of speech?" asked Simmonds.
"I wasn't interfering with his rights," replied Smyth.
"You had no reason to confront Mr. Dunphy at his home on Easter Sunday. I'm saying you had no foundation for you to go down there that day," said Simmonds.
Smyth replied, "I believe you are wrong."
Earlier in his testimony, after Commission counsel Sandra Chaytor asked, "Is there anything you could have done differently?" Smyth replied, "I could have not went there."
Judge Riche leaves inquiry hearings
Earlier Monday Smyth said he stands by "harsh" words he had for a retired judge who was asked to observe the RCMP investigation of the police shooting.
In an email sent to RNC Chief Bill Janes after David Riche spoke with the media, Smyth called Riche`s comments "speculation, folklore."
Testifying Monday morning at the public inquiry into the April 5, 2015 shooting, Smyth said he realized that his words were "harsh ... but I stand by them."
Smyth "Riche suggested I was some sort of predator waiting outside Dunphy's home. The entire document was folklore" <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/dunphy?src=hash">#dunphy</a>—@CBCMarkQuinn
Riche, who was in the audience, stood up and tried to address the inquiry. Commissioner Leo Barry tried to stop him but Riche persisted.
"I [will] leave. I don't want anyone one upset," said Riche.
"It may be too late for that," said Barry.
Stay with this story for updates throughout the day, and follow developments at the inquiry as they happen on our live blog.