Two accused in death of cop appear in court, will remain in custody for bail hearing

·2 min read

CALGARY — Two teens charged with first-degree murder in the death of a Calgary police officer appeared in court Saturday as the investigation into the incident continued.

The 17-year-old and 19-year-old Amir Abdulrahman are set to remain in custody until their bail hearing on Monday, police said in a news release.

The teens turned themselves in on Friday afternoon, less than 24 hours after Sgt. Andrew Harnett was killed during a traffic stop.

Police have said that 37-year-old Harnett was struck and dragged by an SUV that he pulled over just before 11 p.m. on New Year's Eve.

As the investigation progresses, police said they were grateful for an outpouring of support from the public.

"There is no doubt we are all feeling this loss, but please know this community support is helping us all navigate this difficult time," Calgary Police Chief Mark Neufeld said. "Knowing you are thinking of Andy, his family and our policing family, when you yourselves are dealing with all of the uncertainty and challenges of the past year, is comforting to say the least."

The police service said that those wishing to express their grief and solidarity can participate in a "blue campaign" by tying blue ribbons on homes and throughout communities, or displaying blue porch lights.

Those who want to send condolences to Harnett's family can email condolences@calgarypolice.ca.

For now, police said, the family is requesting privacy.

Harnett joined the force 12 years ago after serving as a military police officer for 2 1/2 years. He leaves behind a spouse, Neufeld said.

Harnett also helped investigators identify the suspects before he died, the chief said, but gave few details.

"Part of the reason we've been able to progress this investigation as quickly as we have was as a direct result from some exceptional police work done by Andrew prior to his death," Neufeld said.

"He is helping us solve this and bring those responsible to justice."

Neufeld said video footage from a police vehicle's dashcam and Harnett's own body camera has proven useful.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 2, 2021.

The Canadian Press