Detective's remarks prompt widow's complaint

The family of a man slain on New Year's Day has hired a lawyer to file a complaint against an Edmonton police detective over comments he made about the case.
Farhiya Warsame, the widow of Mohamud Jama, has filed a complaint against Det. Bill Clark of Edmonton police. ((CBC))
The family of a man slain on New Year's Day has hired a lawyer to file a complaint against an Edmonton police detective over comments he made about the case.

"My biggest fear is my husband's case being forgotten and never being solved," said Farhiya Warsame, the widow of Mohamud Jama.

Jama, 23, was fatally shot around 3 a.m. on Jan. 1 at the Papyrus Lounge at 111th Street and 107th Avenue. 

After the shooting, Bill Clark, a veteran Edmonton homicide detective, expressed frustration that only one witness gave police a description of a suspect even though the club was full of people.

He suggested if the Somali-Canadian community wouldn't help, police would move on to other cases.

"He's labelling my community and my husband in a way that's not right," Warsame said. "I don't want him on this case, period."

Widow pregnant with 1st child

Warsame and Jama's mother, Amina Osman, hired Edmonton lawyer Tom Engel to file a complaint against Clark with the police and the Alberta Human Rights Commission.

Bill Clark is a veteran Edmonton Police detective. ((CBC))
"It's not consistent with your duty to start expressing opinions about the nature of the Somali community or about the victim's background, or anything like that," Engel said. "It's not helpful. It's hurtful."

Warsame, who is five months pregnant, said her husband was looking forward to becoming a father. She said he was not a drug dealer and was not involved in gangs.

While she understands Clark's frustrations, Warsame said his remarks caused a controversy in the Somali-Canadian community, the general public and the media.

"I don't see how making these comments will help the Somali community to build a better relationship with the Edmonton police," she said.

The family said they still have confidence in Edmonton police as their complaints are specifically about Clark.

Clark could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon. Acting police chief David Korol said he hasn't yet had an opportunity to review the complaint.

Jama was scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 10 on a charge of assault with a weapon. He was originally charged with aggravated assault, but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge.

Sources told CBC News that Jama stabbed another man six times in the chest and abdomen in October 2007. He then stuck the knife in the man's back twice as he tried to run away.

Engel said in the complaint that Jama was defending himself from an attack from a larger man.