Lon Brewster, one of the Calgary Police Service officers facing a disciplinary hearing in connection with the death of Anthony Heffernan, has been promoted.
Brewster was promoted from sergeant to staff sergeant on Nov. 18, with the promotion taking effect Dec. 6.
Heffernan was shot and killed by police in March 2015 at a motel on Barlow Trail Northeast.
According to an investigation by Alberta’s Serious Incident Response Team, officers had reason to believe Heffernan was in a drug-induced state of agitation and were concerned about a syringe he was holding.
The ASIRT investigation found that the needle did not have a tip.
Heffernan, 27, was shot four times by one of four officers who entered his room on March 16, 2015.
Brewster was one of the five officers who attended the scene, but did not discharge his weapon.
Heffernan’s father Pat, said that the Calgary Police Service should have waited until the disciplinary hearing was complete before ever considering a promotion.
“It’s just totally unreasonable that they would do it this, putting the cart before the horse,” said Heffernan. “I mean, you just don’t do that.”
The family said that this is another example of a lack of accountability on the part of CPS and they fear they will never get justice for their son.
“This is just another example of… the lack of concern, really, by CPS and what is actually happening out there… and not a concern for their citizens.
“This has to change. There has to be accountability.”
“Previous and ongoing conduct matters weigh heavily into promotion decisions and are considered in the context of the officer’s overall performance history,” the Calgary Police Service said in a statement about Brewster’s promotion. “We consider factors like when the incident occurred, what their role was in the incident, whether there is a pattern of misconduct or incompetence, and whether they have demonstrated a commitment to our values over their career.
“In this case, the officer has demonstrated a strong commitment to policing and the community over his 14-year career and has not faced discipline before or since this incident.”
The CPS said Brewster will still face a disciplinary hearing regarding his role in the shooting of Heffernan.