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Police officer contradicts earlier testimony at inquiry

A Halifax Regional Police officer reversed his testimony yesterday atthe Howard Hyde inquiry, saying now he did copy parts of his notes onHyde’s Tasering.

A Halifax Regional Police officer reversed his testimony yesterday at the Howard Hyde inquiry, saying now he did copy parts of his notes on Hyde’s Tasering.

Const. Jonathan Edwards denied in court Monday copying part of his supplemental report on the Tasering of Howard Hyde, who ended up dying in custody 30 hours later.

This was despite Hyde family lawyer Kevin MacDonald showing many passages of his report that day were identical to those a colleague had written one hour earlier.

Edwards said Monday he hadn’t seen the colleague’s report until this week. But yesterday he changed his mind, saying he must have copied some passages.

It was the second contradiction of Const. Edwards unearthed yesterday. MacDonald revealed a statement Edwards gave to RCMP four days after the Tasering in which he said Hyde had been warned twice he was going to be Tasered. Video surveillance shows there were no such warnings. Edwards said he did not remember why he would have said that in his RCMP statement.

As far as the copying of notes, HRP lawyer Sandra MacPherson-Duncan insisted there was no wrongdoing on Edwards’ part because he only copied some supplemental notes written at the end of his shift and his original notes were unique. She said there are no rules against that.

“There’s no attempt to conceal anything because there’s nothing improper in what he did,” she said to reporters. “At this point he had now been working 10 hours or more, probably more. He had been involved in a traumatic event.”

But MacDonald said he was surprised to hear a different answer from when he originally asked about the notes Monday.

“I suppose if he had acknowledged (copying notes) in the past there’d be no significance to it,” he said. “But he denied doing that. And further, he accepted my suggestion that it’s important to do your own work.”