Coun. Carra resigns from Calgary Police Commission as assault investigation continues

Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra participating in a Calgary city council meeting on Nov. 1, 2021. Global News

Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra has resigned his post on the Calgary Police Commission as he is still the subject of an ongoing assault investigation.

Carra has recused himself from the role since April, when the alleged road rage incident came to light.

Carra claims he was physically assaulted after a driver ran a stop sign and nearly hit him and his dog in a crosswalk, which resulted in a verbal confrontation.

Because Carra was a member of the commission and a city councillor, Calgary Police forwarded their investigation to the Edmonton Police Service.

In his letter of resignation, which was posted online, Carra expressed frustration with how long the investigation has taken.

“I believe this unprecedentedly prolonged timeframe should have been more than adequate for the investigation to reach a conclusion,” he wrote. “After seven months, it appears my suspension has served the Calgary Police Service as it has kept a critic silenced through a variety of important oversight issues ranging from the thin blue line to the next four-year budget.”

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Carra told reporters his attorney has informed him that Edmonton Police are awaiting further direction, but said he doesn’t know where that direction is coming from.

The Edmonton Police Service did not respond to Global News’ request for comment.

The last update to Global News from the police service was received back in August was the investigation “should be wrapping up very soon.”

Carra’s resignation from the police commission comes one week after Ward 8 Coun. Courtney Walcott announced he would also be stepping down after one year on the commission.

Walcott told Global News that he’d be able to do more for the community outside the commission than from within.

Carra shared a similar sentiment with reporters, saying his resignation gives him “a different kind of latitude.”

“Obviously, I’m not on the inside so I’m not privy to a lot of day-to-day things,” Carra said. “But, as not a member of commission who has to work with fellow commissioners and moves at a slower pace, I will be able to respond more clearly and more timely to issues as they emerge.”

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According to Carra, two councillors have been selected to serve on the police commission but who those councillors are won’t be released publicly until they undergo security checks.

“I’m very pleased with who council has selected to replace me because I know that individual, when they pass their security checks, shares my passion for the need to reform and transform policing in the City of Calgary steeped in the project of truth and reconciliation and anti-racism.”

Carra said he feels it is a “heavy lift” to be a member of the Calgary Police Commission during a time of “organizational transformation.”

In his resignation letter, Carra added he hopes for the provincial government to reform Alberta’s Police Act to allow for communities to “better identify and bridge gaps” in current police oversight and establish a “clear vision” of a new system of emergency response moving forward.

In a statement to Global News, the Calgary Police Commission thanked both Carra and Walcott for their service to the commission.

The statement also said the commission understands the decision by both councillors to step away and advocate from their seats on city council.

“While being on the commission provides members with significant influence on policing issues, it does limit the type of public advocacy members can engage in,” the statement said in part. “We respect the decision of any member who believes they can have a greater impact by being more personally active in the public discourse than being on the commission typically allows.”

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The next meeting of the Calgary Police Commission is scheduled for Nov. 30.

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