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Constable Joe Smyth to stand trial Jan. 7

RNC Const. Joe Smyth testifies before the Inquiry Respecting the Death of Donald Dunphy in St. John’s earlier this year.
RNC Const. Joe Smyth will stand trial on obstruction of justice charges on Jan. 7 - Joe Gibbons

Smyth charged with obstruction of justice following a traffic stop in May 2017

Const. Joe Smyth has pleaded not guilty to allegations of obstruction of justice and will stand trial on January 7th.

Smyth himself did not appear in court on Friday, but was represented by lawyer Jerome Kennedy. Smyth has elected to stand trial by judge alone.

On July 11, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) investigation charged Smyth with issuing a traffic ticket to a man, while knowing the violation had not occurred. The incident took place on May 12, 2017.

When the charge was announced, Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) Chief Joe Boland announced Smyth had been suspended without pay until further notice. A separate investigation by the RNC’s professional standards unit will also investigate the matter, pending the outcome of the trial.

ASIRT is a civilian-led police oversight agency that investigates incidents involving police that have resulted in serious injury or death to any person, as well as serious or sensitive allegations of police misconduct and was tasked with an investigation into the conduct of an RNC member in November 2017.

In the initial report, ASIRT executive director says the investigation found “reasonable grounds to believe that an offense(s) had been committed.”

Smyth is the RNC officer who shot and killed Donald Dunphy on Easter Sunday 2015.

Smyth was a member of then-premier Paul Davis’ security detail at the time and was sent to investigate tweets send that referenced government members.

After the exchange became heated and Dunphy allegedly pointed a gun at Smyth, Dunphy was shot at killed.

An ensuing public inquiry cleared Smyth of wrongdoing in the incident.

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