November 29, 2023 

St. John’s, NL — The following is a statement from Brian Sauvé, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Police Federation (NPF), in response to the Newfoundland and Labrador Serious Incident Response Team’s (SIRT-NL) charge of a local RCMP Member. 

“The media coverage and social media related to this incident and charge lacks context and is grossly unfair and sensationalized. 

Stephenville RCMP Members were called to remove an individual from a diverted U.S. Delta Airlines flight on June 2. Ahmed Omar Aiden, a United States resident, had become intoxicated, physically, and verbally abusive to airline staff and other passengers for several hours creating a risk to everyone onboard the flight. This forced the flight crew to divert from their original destination and perform an emergency landing at Stephenville Airport, requesting the RCMP attend and arrest the subject. Aiden’s resistive and assaultive behaviour continued throughout the arrest. 

It’s important to note that Aiden was charged and has been convicted of engaging in behaviour that endangered the flight, and all 250+ passengers’ safety by lessening the crew’s ability to perform their duty safely. 

Judging a situation based on a video excerpt is unjust and unreasonable. Police officers, like all Canadians, deserve a fair and unbiased investigation. This Member put his own safety above others in removing a threatening person from a contained flight. Our Members are highly trained in dealing with violence and aggression, but it is never easy. The legal proceeding and investigation must be allowed to proceed without speculation and bias. 

We support our Member and ask both SIRT-NL and the courts of Newfoundland-Labrador to review this file fairly and expeditiously so our Member can move past this incident.” 

About the National Police Federation: 

The National Police Federation (NPF) represents ~20,000 RCMP Members serving across Canada and internationally. We are the largest police union in Canada. The NPF is focused on improving public safety for all Canadians, including our Members by advocating for much-needed investment in the public safety continuum. This includes investments in police resourcing and modern equipment, as well as social programs including health, addiction, and housing supports to enhance safety and livability in the many communities we serve, large and small, across Canada. 

For more information: 

NPF:  LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram 

Media Contact 

Sarah Kavanagh
Coordinator, Media Relations
[email protected]
(604) 842-6864