Calgarians are being welcomed to honour fallen police officer Sgt. Andrew Harnett today, by lining the route of a formal procession that will escort his body from the medical examiner’s office to a funeral home.
Harnett was killed in the line of duty in Calgary on New Year’s eve while attempting to pull over an SUV at a traffic stop. He was hit and dragged when the vehicle took off, and two teens have been charged with first degree murder in connection with his death.
In a Jan. 4 news release, the Calgary Police Service (CPS) said that “arrangements, including the date, for the official funeral are still being made and will be shared as soon as they are available,” but welcomed the public to join CPS staff by lining the route to pay tribute to the officer.
CPS said the procession will start at noon on Jan. 5 as the CPS Skye Boat and Honour Guard, accompanied by officers from the Traffic Section, will depart the medical examiner’s office en route to the funeral home.
The event, which will follow COVID-19 health and safety protocols such as two-metre distancing between people, will also be live-streamed through the CPS YouTube channel.
Harnett, who was 37, leaves behind his wife Chelsea, who is pregnant with their first child, as well as two older brothers and his mother.
The accused in the officer’s death made their first court appearances on Jan. 4—a 17-year-old, who police believe was driving the SUV and who can’t be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, and an alleged passenger, 19-year-old Amir Abdulrahman.
Both are charged with first degree murder. The Crown noted the most serious charge is automatic in deaths involving a police officer.
A bail hearing for the 17-year-old, who turns 18 on Jan. 11, has been scheduled for Jan. 19.
Abdulrahman is also facing four other outstanding charges related to an assault last fall and failures to appear in court.
With files from The Canadian Press