'A really good friend': Family, friends gather to remember Sgt. Andrew Harnett
CALGARY -- A small-scale regimental funeral for Sgt. Andrew Harnett, the Calgary police officer who was killed during a traffic stop on New Year's Eve, was held Saturday afternoon.
A pair of CF-18 Hornet fighter jets zipped across the Calgary sky, above police headquarters, as a procession for Harnett saw thousands of fellow officers, veterans and first responders stand in solidarity.
Premier Jason Kenney and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi were also in attendance, to pay their respects to to the 37-year-old veteran officer and father-to-be.
A procession led by officers on motorcycles, was followed by others marching and Harnett’s family, with several Calgary police cruisers following behind.
About 100 officers from the Edmonton Police Service were also in Calgary for the proceedings.
The Regimental Funeral Service was private at a Calgary church, at the request of the family.
Officials say that due to COVID-19 restrictions was limited to family, close friends and police colleagues.
Even though such services are not allowed under the current provincial health guidelines, Alberta Health Services granted an exemption to allow 50 people attend.
Harnett died on Dec. 31, 2020, when he was run over while at a traffic stop in the northeast community of Falconridge.
In the hours following his death, Calgary Police Chief Mark Neufeld, who knew Harnett personally, said he was a decorated officer who won at least two Chief's Awards for saving lives.
"A family has lost a son, a sibling has lost a brother, a spouse has lost a partner and many, many members of our service have lost a really good friend," he said.
Two suspects, 19-year-old Amir Abdulrahman and a 17-year-old boy who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, have been charged with first-degree murder in his death.
Both suspects turned themselves in to police approximately a day after the incident took place.
Crown prosecutors are opposing a bail application for the youth, but a judge had not yet made a decision.
Balfour Der, counsel for Abdulrahman, said it's too early to say if he will seek bail for his client, the passenger inside the vehicle involved in the crash.
Those proceedings have been adjourned for a month so that Der can review the evidence.