Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the
round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're
not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify
them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change
things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the
crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that
they can change the world, are the ones who do.
US computer engineer & industrialist (1955 - 2011)
Monday, November 9, 2015
New Facts on the death of Don Dunphy
The tragic death of Don Dunphy has haunted me now for seven months. Don was a close friend on social media, and his plight at the hands of the Workers Compensation Board hit close to home. As a disabled veteran I could have faced the same life-long struggle if it were not for the fact that my injuries were sustained while serving the country in the army. But for the Grace of God... as the saying goes. Many of you will know that I've campaigned long and hard to get the truth out about Don's death - whatever that may be.
To show support for Meghan, Don's daughter, and to serve the memory of Don, my wife and I recently attended the March for Don Dunphy in Mount Carmel - his hometown. Afterwards Meghan and family invited us in for some coffee and biscuits. We had a good talk about Don, and the circumstances surrounding his death that night. The words were spoken in confidence as the details were not yet public. However, national columnist Michael Harris just released a story on Don where some of those details were exposed (here), so silence on those points no longer serves any purpose.
Sgt Joe Smyth, the Premier's personal friend and bodyguard, and officer in charge of internet surveillance for the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) at the time, was the officer that shot Don Dunphy to death.
Smyth was alone at the scene for one half hour before other police forces arrived, and found wondering aimlessly around the scene.
Smyth did not write a statement on the shooting until two days after the fact.
Meghan was not allowed to view her father's body until two days after his death.
Premier Paul Davis spoke with Smyth BEFORE the officer had written his statement on the events surround Don's death.
Don was shot numerous times, including at least one shot to the forehead. He died at the scene and his body was not removed until 4:00 a.m. the next day - or roughly 14 hours after he was killed.
These are some shocking, absolutely shocking details of Don's death and the subsequent process. The fact that Paul Davis, the Premier of the Province, and former serving RNC officer with Smyth, would speak to him on the phone prior to Smyth writing his statement is beyond the pale. Given the recent revelation that RNC Sgt Buckle counselled a fellow officer to lie (here) the question becomes: Is the RNC corrupted? Whether it is or not, and whether Davis counselled Smyth or not, the bottom line is he spoke to an officer who killed a man before his statement was written, and that is an outrageous breach. One that should cause his immediate resignation as Premier.
Also, and extremely disturbing, is the fact the officer had two days to give a written statement. Aside from the fact that many details can be forgotten in two days, which is why a statement is normally done immediately, the time lapse gives the officer time to create a story to match the events should he be so inclined.
On a human side, it was very disturbing to learn that Don's daughter could not see her father's body for two days. According to her, the police said she could not see the body due to the Coroner's instructions. When Megan finally contacted the Coroner he stated there was nothing holding her back from seeing her father's body. Anyone who has lost a loved one knows that seeing the person's body is a critical part of the process of coming to terms with their death. This basic right was denied to Meghan for days, which I can only imagine must have been pure hell for her.
Of course it is now semi-public knowledge that Sgt Smyth, after writing his statement, and then sending an email that he had "no regrets" to his fellow officers (which was subsequently leaked to the media) hustled off to Florida for a vacation. As disturbing as Don's death was, and remains, to us all, the details thus far released are nearly as disturbing. One thing is for certain though, Premier Paul Davis must immediately resign as Premier, PC leader, and MHA. He has committed an inexcusable act by speaking with his personal friend and officer on the killing of a man without that officer first writing a statement on the events. That is how the truth looks so far in the death of our friend Don Dunphy.