Letters: ‘Spectacle’ of officer’s
funeral incorrectly suggests his
death is more tragic than others

Vancouver Province, November 20, 2017

Funeral of Abbotsford constable John Davidson

The funeral procession carrying the body of Abbotsford Police Const. John Davidson,
who was killed in the line of duty on Nov. 6, makes its way to a memorial
in Abbotsford on Sunday. BEN NELMS / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Two days after a gunman killed Abbotsford Const. John Davidson, a Toronto radio station reported that a security guard in that city was taken to hospital without vital signs after being stabbed by a shoplifter. If further news about this was ever released, it’s hard to find. Contrast that with the extensive coverage about the police officer.

No Canadian military casualty ever gets a fraction of this attention. Several hundreds more Canadians die each year in occupational deaths, often in industries far more dangerous than police work. Were their lives any less important, any less public-spirited than those of police officers?

Recognition of the Abbotsford officer’s death included not just massive media coverage but a number of public events leading up to a funeral attended by thousands, mostly police who arrived from across Canada and even other countries. All that just indicates the rarity of an officer being killed on duty.

People who knew Davidson personally will mourn his needless passing. But the spectacle of his funeral constituted a display of power and status by the police.

Greg Klein, Nanaimo


[An online comment to the above letter:]

Francis Cheesman
University of British Columbia

Greg Klein - do any of these occupational deaths you mentioned involve attending a scene where someone is brandishing a firearm? no, they don't , and this officer was just doing his job and was shot and killed because of it. Same for a Fireman who goes into a burning building, these types of jobs involve people having way more cojones then likely you would, and they do it every day. So for the community to honour someone who has died protecting someone they don't even know, I think we can spend a few minutes to recognize that.


Letters: So-called ‘spectacle’
of officer’s funeral was about
respect, camaraderie

Vancouver Province, November 23, 2017

Abbotsford constable John Davidson funeral

RCMP officers salute the hearse carrying the body of Abbotsford Police Const. John Davidson,
who was killed in the line of duty on Nov. 6, after a memorial in Abbotsford, B.C.,
on Sunday November 19, 2017. BEN NELMS / THE CANADIAN PRESS

To most people, the “spectacle” of Const. John Davidson’s funeral, as letter-writer Greg Klein called it, displayed the camaraderie that is shared through the ranks by police, fire, paramedics, search and rescue, military, nurses, doctors and any and all first responders.

They never know if they will go home after their shift is done. The unexpected is always present and more so, given the violent world we now live in.

The rest is about respect, no matter if these untimely deaths are occupational, industrial or accidental. That we are able to come together in this way shows strength and optimism. “And out of the darkness came light.”

I think it is safe to say we thank all of you for your service.

Ann Cardus, Mission

Letter a ‘disgusting choice’

Const. John Davidson’s celebration was powerful but in a respectful and emotional coming together of all citizens who respect and care about everyone who must deal with these hideous incidents.

I am sure I am not alone in finding Greg Klein’s letter offensive. Freedom of speech is fine. Making it your ‘headline’ letter was a disgusting editorial choice.

Caroline Duncan, North Vancouver


Officer deserved tribute

Vancouver Province, November 30, 2017

It was clear by the many people who spoke during the funeral of Abbotsford police Const. John Davidson that he was very loved and respected in his community and, therefore, well deserving of a ceremony that was attended by hundreds of first responders.

Although many individuals who die in occupational deaths don't get the same level of attention as Davidson, we should not take away from the beautiful tribute for him. It is important to remember that many occupational deaths are not due to workers risking their lives to protect others but unfortunate accidents. Davidson intentionally risked his life to protect our community.

The ceremony was not a show of status and power by police, it was the community showing respect to an officer who lost his life protecting us.

Jessica Peakman, Abbotsford

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