Alberta police team reviewing RCMP's investigation into Don Dunphy shooting
The Newfoundland and Labrador government is bringing in a team from Alberta to conduct an independent review of the RCMP's investigation into the 2015 shooting of Don Dunphy.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) will conduct an "independent and impartial review," according to a statement issued by Justice Minister Andrew Parsons Sunday morning.
The appearance of police investigating police can not always lead people to have full faith.-Andrew Parsons, NL justice minister
"The first goal is to maintain public confidence in the system," Parsons told CBC News.
"The appearance of police investigating police can not always lead people to have full faith, and I think even people in police forces will tell you that."
The civilian-led ASIRT has jurisdiction over all police officers in Alberta. Its mandate is to investigate serious injury or death resulting from police actions.
Parsons said the RCMP fully expected an external body to review its investigation, and is fully complying.
"This has been an issue that's been on the public's mind since it happened," said Parsons.
"It's not about a lack of confidence in the police forces, not at all, but we need to have that scrutiny, and police forces need to withstand that public scrutiny. This is of the utmost importance."
The Alberta justice minister, Kathleen Ganley, has consented to ASIRT performing the review.
Parsons said they haven't yet determined the cost of service and don't have a sense of how long it will take.
Public inquiry will still happen
Parsons said this is a justification of the need for civilian oversight of the police forces in Newfoundland and Labrador.
He also said the new Liberal government is still committed to conducting a public inquiry into the death of Don Dunphy, after the police investigation and review is completed to answer the questions of "what happened and why it happened."
Don Dunphy was shot inside his Mitchells Brook home Easter Sunday, 2015, by RNC Cst. Joe Smyth.
Smyth was at the home investigating tweets that were made by Dunphy about former premier Paul Davis, and other politicians.
The RCMP said in April that Dunphy pointed a loaded gun at the officer, which is when Smyth fired his own weapon.
"Alberta has a tremendous serious incident response team, also civilian-led, fantastic reputation. So they were available and I knew that talking to the minister we could use that service, so we took advantage of it."