Edmonton – I would like to begin by acknowledging the tragic loss of Clayton Crawford in July 2018, and the impact this incident has had.
Earlier today, Sue Hughson, of the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, announced that two Alberta RCMP members are facing serious charges in relation to their actions on July 3, 2018.
Corporal Randy Stenger and Constable Jessica Brown have each been charged with Criminal Negligence Causing Death in relation to the death of Clayton Crawford. I was advised of the findings of the ASIRT investigation on Friday, June 5th. Upon learning of these charges, Corporal Stenger and Constable Brown were subsequently suspended with pay.
Both of these members are posted at Whitecourt Detachment. Corporal Stenger has 12 years of service and Constable Brown has served 4 years with the RCMP.
There is a great responsibility placed in the hands of police officers. They are called upon to make split-second decisions in often rapidly-changing and dynamic situations that can have lasting impacts. Those decisions, unfortunately, can sometimes result in a tragic loss of life. While I cannot speak to the circumstances of this event and investigation, as that responsibility lies with ASIRT, I can share with you some of the actions we took following the occurrence.
Immediately following the incident, we notified the Director of Law Enforcement, who in turn directed ASIRT to take carriage of the investigation. Corporal Stenger and Constable Brown were immediately removed from duty, as is our policy when our members are involved in serious operational incidents.
In order for members to return to operational duties after events like these, there are a number of steps that must occur. In this case, both members participated in those requirements, including a review of the incident, and various operational and health evaluations.
This ensures that when our members do return to duty during a pending ASIRT investigation, as was the case with Corporal Stenger and Constable Brown, we are confident they can perform their operational duties in a safe manner that meets public expectation.
We have immense respect for the investigations undertaken by ASIRT and the accountability that the process brings to policing. It ensures public trust and confidence remains for policing across Alberta’s communities.