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Full parole granted to SUV passenger convicted in Calgary police officer's death

Amir Abdulrahman is shown in an undated Calgary Police Service photo. (supplied) Amir Abdulrahman is shown in an undated Calgary Police Service photo. (supplied)
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A man convicted of manslaughter for his role in the death of a Calgary police officer almost three years ago has been granted full parole.

Sgt. Andrew Harnett, 37, died after he was dragged by an SUV and fell into the path of an oncoming car on Dec. 31, 2020.

The passenger in the vehicle, Amir Abdulrahman, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2021 and was sentenced to five years in prison.

Abdulrahman was granted day parole in May and, in a decision last week, a Parole Board of Canada panel decided he can now be released.

"The board is satisfied that you have continued to make positive progress, while on day parole, and that your risk can be managed on a broader form of release," reads the decision released last week.

"The board grants full parole at the expiry of the current period of day parole. It is the board's opinion that you will not present an undue risk to society, if released on full parole, and that your release will contribute to the protection of society, by facilitating your reintegration into society as a law-abiding citizen."

Abdulrahman has been living in a Calgary halfway house.

The board said Abdulrahman has accepted responsibility for his offence and consistently expressed regret for the harm he has caused. It says he has also addressed his risk factors through the completion of programs and began working after his release on day parole.

The board considers Abdulrahman a low-to-moderate risk to reoffend.

"There is no indication that you have returned to any substance use since your release, and you do appear to have continued to distance yourself from the negative peer group and lifestyle you were involved in, at the time of the offence," says the decision.

"You are spending time with family and pro-social friends."

There are a number of conditions imposed on Abdulrahman's release, including no contact with those involved in the drug trade, no consumption of drugs and to follow designated treatment plans.

He is also prohibited from having any contact with the victim's family or the Calgary police station where Harnett served as an officer.

"The board has also read and considered the letters submitted by the victim's wife ... describing the heart-wrenching impact the offence and loss of the victim has caused her, his family, community, and tragically the child he never got to meet," said the board.

"Your actions contributed to the death of the victim and tore a hole in the lives of the many people who lost their loved one due to your offence."

The trial heard Harnett tried to stop the SUV after he noticed its licence plate didn't match its registration.

The driver, who is now 20, was days away from turning 18 at the time of Harnett's death and was charged as a youth with first-degree murder.

The driver testified during his trial that he was scared when Harnett and another officer approached the SUV, and he saw Harnett put a hand on his gun.

The SUV took off with the officer holding onto the wheel, trying to get the driver to stop.

A Calgary judge convicted the driver of manslaughter and sentenced him in September to an adult sentence of 12 years in prison.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 28, 2023.

– With files from Brittany Hobson in Winnipeg

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