Open letter to the media Subject: Release of video

This past week has seen many articles written about our murdered brother and colleague, Eric Czapnik. To say it has been difficult for Eric’s family, friends and co-workers is an enormous understatement. Eric chose the most difficult of professions; he worked hard so that he could earn the respect of those he protected. Eric Czapnik made the ultimate sacrifice: his life was ended on the 29th of December 2009 and we, as a society, lost one of our finest. Anna lost her husband, Eric’s children lost their father, the Ottawa police lost an exemplary officer. Eric’s family and friends will never be able to enjoy his company again. On the 7th of March 2012, we relived much of that horrible experience when the media decided to show the video of Eric entering the Emergency Room. The video shows the final moments of a human life; it was not ‘acted’ or scripted. Eric Czapnik was a real person, he had a family and he lived right here in this city. Ottawa, how do we judge ourselves? Are we a civil society if we endorse the media when they sensationalize a horrible event? I believe we are better than this. The members of the Ottawa Police are your family, your neighbours, your coaches and your volunteers; they put their lives at risk and are ready to sacrifice so much for a city that they love. Matt Skof President Ottawa Police Association

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