Two days after a gunman killed Abbotsford Cst. John Davidson, a Toronto radio station reported that a security guard in that city was taken to hospital without vital signs after being stabbed by a shoplifter. If further news about this was ever released, it’s hard to find. Contrast that with the extensive coverage about the police officer.
No Canadian military casualty ever gets a fraction of this attention. Several hundreds more Canadians die each year in occupational deaths, often in industries far more dangerous than police work. Were their lives any less important, any less public-spirited than those of police officers?
Recognition of the Abbotsford officer’s death included not just massive media coverage but a number of public events leading up to a funeral attended by a reported 8,000 police who arrived from across Canada and other countries. All that just indicates the rarity of an officer being killed on duty.
People who knew Davidson personally will mourn his needless passing. But the spectacle of his funeral constituted a display of power and status by the police.