Halifax, Nova Scotia — Following is a statement from Brian Sauvé, President of the National Police Federation, in response to media commentary surrounding the details of the loss of Heather O’Brien’s life on Plains Road, on April 19, 2020:
“We know that the families and friends of those killed on April 18 and 19 continue to mourn and question the sudden loss of their loved ones, and our thoughts and sympathies are with them. The perpetrator’s actions resulted in the loss of one of our Members and injury of another, while forever impacting all Members involved in the response during the mass casualty and in the investigation that followed.
The allegations of neglect of duties being asserted by the O’Brien family and repeated in the media against our EMRT Members are extremely serious, striking at the core of their commitment to serve and protect, and dishonouring their service on April 18 and 19.
To help provide answers on the death of Heather O’Brien, the National Police Federation has requested that the Commission question the Medical Examiner (who signed her autopsy report) on the Fitbit activity recently shared via social media, as well as the time and cause of death, during upcoming public proceedings. This expert evidence will be helpful to dispel current ongoing and inflammatory speculation, which is harmful for everyone involved.
We have every confidence in the skills and training of RCMP Emergency Medical Response Team Members and in their actions on Plains Road on April 19, and we have prepared a backgrounder providing more information about their training, expertise, and the important role they play in emergency response medical support.
About the National Police Federation:
The National Police Federation (NPF) was certified to represent ~20,000 RCMP Members serving across Canada and internationally in the summer of 2019. The NPF is the largest police labour relations organization in Canada; the second largest in North America and is the first independent national association to represent RCMP Members.
The NPF is focused on improving public safety in Canada by increasing resources, equipment, training, and other supports for our Members who have been under-funded for far too long. Better resourcing and supports for the RCMP will enhance community safety and livability in the communities we serve, large and small, across Canada.
For more information: https://npf-fpn.com/
Fabrice de Dongo
Manager, Media Relations