Edmonton police confirm that a number of internal reviews it conducted after the death of Const. Daniel Woodall have been completed and are being shared with officers, but there are no plans to make the documents public at this time.
Woodall, 35, was killed in 2015 after the suspect in a lengthy hate crimes investigation opened fire on police. Another police officer, Sgt. Jason Harley, who was with Woodall, was injured but recovered. The suspect, 42-year-old Norman Raddatz, later died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
In a statement, police spokesperson Cheryl Sheppard said EPS paid the travel costs for Woodall’s wife Claire, her two sons and Woodall’s parents to come to Edmonton to hear the findings from Chief Dale McFee.
Sheppard said the findings were then shared Thursday with officers and civilians who were at the scene the day Woodall died or who were directly involved with the incident.
She said the reports will be shared further Friday with all other EPS employees, “as the organization wants its employees to be well informed in advance of an upcoming fatality inquiry.”
“Because of this impending inquiry, the review documents will not be made public at this time,” Sheppard said in the statement.
She said resources are available for any police employee who requires them.
Woodall’s wife Claire declined to comment on the findings but sent the following statement to Global News:
“We are so grateful we’ve had the opportunity to come back. It’s been important for the boys and I to reconnect with their friends.
“We really do appreciate everything this city has done for us and how you keep us all in your hearts.”
An investigation by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) was completed in July 2018, more than three years after Woodall’s death, and cleared EPS of wrongdoing in the standoff that led to Woodall’s death. The internal investigations come almost four-and-a-half years after his death.
Mike Elliott, president of the Edmonton Police Association, said the internal reports have been a long time coming.
“I personally think it’s taken too long to get to this point. With that being said, I’m glad it is here because members have been wearing this for a significant period of time,” he said.
“It’s very difficult for members to find closure when they’re almost like…looking over their shoulder. They’re wondering…why it’s taking so long. There’s always more questions than answers.”
Elliott said some members are coping with the events from 2015 better than others.
“Some members are doing well. They have the supports in place. They’re going through counselling.
A date has not yet been scheduled for a fatality inquiry.