The man who ultimately left Frank Paul to freeze alone in an alley, wants to apologize in person to his family, after tearfully acknowledging his role in his death on the stand. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2008/01/11/bc-officerintears.html
Saying he put too much faith in the opinion of his superior officer, Constable David Instant followed orders -despite his feelings that they were questionable – and dumped off the severely intoxicated man, who was subsequently found frozen to death.
After watching the video of his testimony, I was left with the feeling that he was sincere in his apology, although some do not agree, stating that he has had many years to apologize and did not.
Although I do not, in any way,condone his actions, I can imagine being in his position at the time. He was a rookie officer, and here his superior is telling him to do something he thinks is questionable . He doesn’t agree with him,and says so, but his commanding officer instructs him that Mr. Paul is not drunk enough to stay. Does he defy his superior -who has many years experience and ranking – and risk getting in trouble , or does he just follow orders and keep his mouth shut ? I can imagine that it wasn’t an easy spot to be in, in consideration of the “brotherhood” mentality of some superior officers. Sometime officers who go against another officer, experience a backlash as a result.
Yes , he could have dropped him off somewhere else, or at a shelter, but only he knows what was going through his mind. Did he know Frank Paul was going to die? Would a reasonable person have considered the weather conditions? I would have, but then I don’t have a commanding officer breathing down my neck either. And I think Russell Sanderson’s character has been shown quite clearly throughout the testimony.
As for not apologising for ten years, we’ve all done something in our lives that we have not apologized for, even knowing that we should. Perhaps it isn’t quite the same, but how does one say the words ? In this situation, an apology constitutes an admission of guilt. And I think it was sincere, and to finally tell his side of it, I imagine, was a relief, to get it off his chest.
All of this being said, I still think they both deserve more punishment than what has been brought upon them to date- although Constable Instant seems to actually feel remorse, whereas his former Sergeant, Russell Sanderson is oblivious and still covering his ass.
However you look at it, this is one case that clearly shows the need for changes to be made within municipal police force policies, to prevent the kind of careless disregard for human life so wantonly displayed by those like Russell Sanderson
How do you feel about the death of Frank Paul and the events that have transpired since then?