The officer who Tasered Howard Hyde said Thursday he would make the same decision knowing what he does now.
Halifax Regional Police Special Const. Greg McCormack also denied threatening Hyde before the struggle. Though the image is not captured, someone is heard on video saying "you're going to be doing the f_ing dance next, Howard" when Hyde began to resist police. He was later Tasered.
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McCormack testified he did not say the words and that Hyde himself must have said them. The only other person in the room - HRP Const. Jonathan Edwards - had already testified he did not say them.
McCormack said at the time he was reaching towards Hyde with one outstretched arm to cut a piece of string from his shorts, which may have prompted a comment about dancing.
There is still some debate over whether the words were said at all. Both inquiry council Dan McRury and Hyde family lawyer Kevin MacDonald proposed those were the correct words. McCormack said he couldn’t remember at the time, but did hear those words on the surveillance video.
But Const. Edwards said the audio wasn’t clear enough to tell and police lawyer Susan MacPherson-Duncan said it might be a different phrase.
Thursday Hyde’s sister, Joanna Blair, said Hyde did not make the statement.
“I could recognize my brother’s voice and what I heard in that line with the effing and dancing remark, in my opinion, was not my brother’s voice,” she said outside of the courtroom.
“I would have recognized my brother’s voice. I recognized it in the other audio.”
McCormick didn’t know Hyde was a schizophrenic off his medication when he decided to use the Taser, but said even knowing that he’d probably have done the same thing.
So far all five HRP officers who have testified have said the incident was handled appropriately and they would not have acted differently.