It’s not technically a trial, but the Howard Hyde inquiry is looking more and more like two sides opposing each other.
There are more than 15 lawyers involved in the inquiry, but two main players have come to the fore.
On one side is Kevin MacDonald, the lawyer representing Hyde’s sister and brother-in-law. MacDonald spent much of the last two days grilling Halifax Regional Police officer Const. Jonathan Edwards over the scuffle that involved Hyde being Tasered.
MacDonald delved into issues of police threatening Hyde, perhaps being too quick to use a Taser, and generally not handling the situation properly.
On the other side is HRP lawyer Sandra MacPherson-Duncan, who had her turn to question Edwards yesterday.
“You’ve had a long couple of days,” she opened.
MacPherson-Duncan went on to outline the ways police reacted appropriately. She highlighted surveillance footage of Hyde, a schizophrenic off his medication, giving his name, date of birth and address, suggesting he knew where he was and what was going on.
For the first time yesterday she was openly critical of MacDonald’s treatment of the officer, saying some of his propositions were “highly unfair and had no foundation in fact.”
“There were some inflammatory suggestions. They clearly don’t have any foundation,” she told reporters outside the courtroom.
The Hyde inquiry is a fatality inquiry, not a criminal case. No fault or blame will be determined at the end, only recommendations to improve the system.
But even by its second week, there have been many objections by MacPherson-Duncan over the cross-examinations of MacDonald.