Man pleads guilty to manslaughter in hit-and-run death of Calgary police officer

One of two men charged in the death of a Calgary Police Service (CPS) officer pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter in court on Wednesday.

Amir Abdulrahman was in an SUV that Sgt. Andrew Harnett’s had stopped in the community of Falconridge on December 31, 2020 after noticing its licence plate didn’t match its registration.

The vehicle took off and 37-year-old Harnett was struck. He died about an hour later. Police arrested the suspects shortly after. 

There were so many people in attendance at Abdulrahman’s court appearance on Wednesday that another courtroom was opened where attendees could watch a livestream of the proceedings, including CPS members in uniform and Harnett’s family. 

Abdulrahman was charged with first-degree-murder, which is the automatic charge in Canada in cases involving the death of an on-duty police officer. Abdulrahman’s guilty plea comes days before his trial was set to start.

Amir Abdulrahman and a 17-year-old boy have been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Sgt. Andrew Harnett who was fatally struck during a Dec. 31, 2020 traffic stop in northeast Calgary. (supplied)

The other man charged in Harnett’s death cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act because he was 17 at the time of the incident. 

His trial is scheduled to go ahead on January 31, 2022. 

Harnett’s widow Chelsea was pregnant with the couple’s first child at the time of the officer’s death.

He had been with the CPS for 12 years and prior to that served as a military police officer with the Canadian Forces.

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