There were conflicting reports Thursday of how knives and other weapons got into an unlocked drawer at the Halifax Regional Police booking office.

 

Originally it was reported there was an uncovered drawer full of confiscated items including box cutters, scissors, screwdrivers, a plastic mallet and various knives, including a large butcher’s knife.

 

But Thursday during testimony at the Howard Hyde fatality inquiry, Special Const. Greg McCormick of the Halifax Regional Police said the contents of the drawer were not confiscated from criminals. He said they “are just things that ended up there over 35 years.”

 

At another point during his testimony he said “This is 35 years of terrible practice just sitting there.”

The drawer above the weapons drawer was missing, making it possible to see and reach in.

Another officer, Const. Jonathan Edwards, said fears of Hyde getting his hands on a knife were part of what prompted him to call for McCormick to get his Taser.

Kevin MacDonald, the lawyer of Hyde’s family, said Hyde would have had no way of knowing about the weapons drawer and never made any indication he was reaching for it.