A formal procession escorted the body of Calgary’s fallen police officer, Sgt. Andrew Harnett, from the medical examiner’s officer to a funeral home in the city’s southeast Tuesday afternoon.
Harnett was killed during a traffic stop on New Year’s Eve after a fleeing SUV dragged the officer 400 metres before he was flung into oncoming traffic.
Two teens have been charged with first-degree murder.
Calgary Police Service’s Honour Guard accompanied officers from the traffic section as the procession travels east along Memorial Drive, from Shaganappi Trail at Bowness Road N.W. to the Mountain View Funeral Home & Cemetery.
The public also joined members of CPS who lined the route as they paid tribute to the slain officer.
CPS had asked observers to respect COVID-19 protocols, keeping two metres between attendees.
“We thank you for your patience and understanding,” said the service in a statement.
CPS and Harnett’s family continue to work together to iron out funeral details. A regimental funeral is being planned and it will respect the 10-person maximum attendance under provincial COVID restrictions.
Around 11 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, Harnett pulled over an SUV. A youth, who can’t be identified, was driving at the time and 19-year-old Amir Abdulrahman — who was wanted on four warrants — was the passenger.
After speaking with the driver, Harnett was in the process of issuing tickets related to the driver’s graduated licence and headlights, which were not on, according to sources connected to the investigation.
Other officers were attempting to arrest Abdulrahman on his warrants.
The SUV sped away, but Harnett was still somehow attached to the vehicle.
For 400 metres and with the vehicle reaching speeds of up to 90 km/h, it’s alleged the driver tried to push Harnett off the SUV while Abdulrahman grabbed the wheel.
Eventually, Harnett was flung into oncoming traffic.
The brother and mother of Harnett are now in Calgary after travelling from Ontario for his funeral, which is being planned for this weekend.
Harnett was a decorated officer with two Chief’s Awards for lifesaving over his 12-year career with the Calgary Police Service.
He leaves behind a partner who is several months pregnant with the couple’s first child.
Calgary police Chief Mark Neufeld has described Harnett as “one of the best.”
According to his family, Harnett was passionate about policing, a job he knew he wanted since childhood.
“He knew the risks of the job and showed up every day regardless,” said the family in a written statement released Monday.
“Andrew would have given everything for the police, and he did.”