NEW WESTMINSTER â€” Dozens of Delta police officers were at the courthouse in New Westminster Thursday afternoon in a show of support for Const. Jordan MacWilliams.
MacWilliams was making his second appearance as he faces a second-degree murder charge stemming from a fatal on-duty shooting two years ago.
During the brief court appearance, a pre-trial conference was scheduled for Jan. 21 in Vancouver.
Delta police S/Sgt. Ryan Hall/, who is also president of the Delta Police Association, said the officers in attendance, many of whom were sporting blue wristbands emblazoned with MacWilliams’ badge number and the department’s core values â€” Honour, Courage, Integrity and Trust â€” were there to support their fellow officer.
"We were looking for a tangible and professional way to show our support our member while he’s going through the trial process. We wanted to keep it internal and silent," he said. "We don’t want to frustrate any process that’s going on in the court stage."
Outside the courthouse, MacWilliams’ lawyer, David Butcher, said the case is like nothing he’s ever seen before.
"As far as we are aware, there has never been a police officer who engaged in the use of force in the execution of his duty charged with an offence (like this) … This is a truly unique case."
Butcher said the defence had just received the Crown’s case Thursday morning.
"We don’t accept it at all," he said.
Butcher went on to say the public should have concerns about what’s taking place.
"I think the public needs to be very concerned about the developments in this case because if it puts a chill on police protection, particularly in a world that’s become so dangerous, the public needs to be very, very concerned about the developments in this matter."
MacWilliams was charged in October with second-degree murder in the death of 48-year-old Mehrdad Bayrami.
Bayrami was shot following a five-hour police standoff outside the Starlight Casino in New Westminster in November of 2012.
MacWilliams, who has been with the department for close to seven years, was a member of the Municipal Integrated Emergency Response Team at the time, and one of many officers responding to the incident.
The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) looked into the shooting and last year chief civilian director Richard Rosenthal forwarded a report to Crown counsel. The IIO does not recommend charges but can forward a report to the Crown following an investigation where it’s believed an officer might have committed an offence.