Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Const. Joe Smyth continues testifying Monday Jan. 23, 2017 at a public inquiry into the death of Donald Dunphy in St.John’s. A police officer who was at the centre of a judicial inquiry into his fatal shooting of an injured Newfoundland worker has been charged with obstructing justice over his handling of an unrelated traffic stop last year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sue Bailey

Newfoundland and Labrador police officer charged with obstruction of justice

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A police officer who was at the centre of a judicial inquiry into his fatal shooting of an injured Newfoundland worker has been charged with obstructing justice over his handling of an unrelated traffic stop last year.

A news release from the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team issued Wednesday said Const. Joe Smyth was charged in relation to an incident on May 12 in St. John’s “that resulted in a traffic violation ticket being issued for an offence that did not occur.”

The statement by the Alberta investigators, who were called in at the request of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, does not provide further details on the incident.

Chief Joe Boland of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary said at a news conference that Smyth has been suspended from the force without pay until further notice.

Smyth shot and killed Don Dunphy on Easter Sunday 2015 after Dunphy suddenly aimed a rifle at him at his home in Mitchell’s Brook. The officer was cleared of wrongdoing in the incident.

Public inquiry Commissioner Leo Barry said Smyth showed “certain errors of judgment,” but also found there was no evidence to disprove Smyth’s claim he acted in self defence.

Smyth was a member of then-premier Paul Davis’s security team, and had visited Dunphy alone and unannounced after Davis’s staff flagged a single post on Twitter as being “of concern.”

Smyth is scheduled to appear in provincial court in St. John’s on Aug. 23.

The Canadian Press

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