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In August 2009, former Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant was involved in a fatal collision between his car and a cyclist, Darcy Allan Sheppard. According to media and witness reports, following the initial collision, Sheppard, who was clutching onto Bryant's car, was brutally killed as Bryant swerved his car toward trees, a mailbox, and a fire hydrant, slamming Sheppard's body into these objects (1). Witnesses at the scene reported that Bryant driving Sheppard into these objects appeared to be deliberate, and said Bryant clearly "meant to knock him off." (2)
Many members of the public are shocked and outraged with Bryant's conduct—not only on the night of the accident, but also in his actions in the days, months, and years since. Bryant has also consistently demonstrated a lack of integrity and an absence of compassion toward the victim. In the days following the collision, Bryant even hired a PR company that shamefully worked to publicly discredit the victim (3).
Many members of the public also feel that Bryant may have received preferential treatment by police, media, and the justice system as a result of his political connections. Moreover, when criminal charges against Bryant without the case going to trial, many argued that this presented the appearance of Bryant having exploited his political clout in his own favor.
Given the above, but also just as a matter of very basic decency, we call on Penguin Canada to halt plans to release Bryant's book. For Penguin Canada or Michael Bryant to attempt to profit, in any way, from the death of Darcy Allan Sheppard is profoundly shameful, shocking, and offensive. We call on Penguin to stop the publication of "28 Seconds," and to sever their business relationship with Michael Bryant.
Security camera footage of the collision: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFISP_PrhFo
Eyewitness accounts : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8UKQW225gI
* If you feel something written above is misleading, inaccurate, or should be worded differently, please feel encouraged to contact me to discuss it. I have attempted to describe the events, and this issue, in a voice as neutral toward both sides as possible.
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