Calgary Defence Lawyer Salutes Const. Daniel Woodall

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Calgary Defence Lawyer Salutes Const. Daniel Woodall

Criminal defence lawyers and police officers, in Calgary and throughout the world, are often depicted as standing opposed to each other. Their aims and purposes are assumed to be contradictory and mutually exclusive.

In reality, we all fight for justice, for a better Calgary and a better Alberta and a better Canada and a better world, and we—or at least the other defence lawyers and police officers I have had the privilege to know in my life and my career—respect each other a great deal.

It is with utmost admiration, compassion, and sorrow that I express my condolences to the Edmonton Police Service and to the family and friends of Constable Daniel Woodall, who was shot and killed Monday night while attempting to carry out a lawful arrest.

Woodall, the first Edmonton Police officer killed in the line of duty in twenty-five years, was working in the department's hate crime unit, specifically tasked with protecting the "human rights, safety, security and inclusiveness for all identifiable communities in Edmonton."

His task was to make sure preconceived notions and prejudices didn't drive crime and certainly didn't drive our society. Woodall's work as a law enforcement officer was about building understanding and removing barriers between communities, and making sure everyone was treated—and indeed, truly seen—as an equal.

No city, no province, and no country could ask for more. If we could all see each other's humanity, the distinctions between ethnic groups, religions, police officers, defence lawyers, and accused criminals would start to fade in importance.

That's the goal we're all fighting for, and I salute Constable Woodall and his family for the sacrifice he gave to that cause.