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Taman stream of consciousness (2)

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This morning, former Branigan's server Chelsea O'Halloran testified. She single-handedly served the 20+ cops from Division 13 who came into party at Branigans late on February 24, 2005, a group that included Derek Harvey-Zenk, the officer who eight hours later would drive his truck into the back of Crystal Taman's car, killing her.What is amazing about the now 24-year-old O'Halloran is how clearly and concisely she answered questions. She very precisely described how drunk the cops were that night, and how some of them acted rudely toward her. And how they talked about leaving Branigan's and going off to an after party. She also admitted she deliberately left out many of these details when she gave a statement to Winnipeg police two weeks after the accident. She said she had been encouraged by her boss at the restaurant - a good friend of some of the cops - to "play dumb" to spare the restaurant and the cops any trouble. She came forward after guilt and the Taman family's suffering prompted her to tell the truth.Her performance stands in stark contrast to the bumbling, memory-challenged performance of former East St. Paul Police Chief Harry Bakema, who seemed at times that he wouldn't be able to remember his own name.The constrast in styles of testimony is certainly speaking volumes to those of us observing the proceedings.-30-

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About Dan Lett

Dan Lett came to Winnipeg in 1986, less than a year out of journalism school.

Despite the fact that he’s originally from Toronto and has a fatal attraction to the Maple Leafs, Winnipeggers let him stay.

In the following years, he has worked at bureaus covering every level of government – from city hall to the national bureau in Ottawa.

He has had bricks thrown at him in riots following the 1995 Quebec referendum, wrote stories that helped in part to free three wrongly convicted men, met Fidel Castro, interviewed three Philippine presidents, crossed several borders in Africa illegally, chased Somali pirates in a Canadian warship and had several guns pointed at him.

In other words, he’s had every experience a journalist could even hope for. He has also been fortunate enough to be a two-time nominee for a National Newspaper Award, winning in 2003 for investigations.

Other awards include the B’Nai Brith National Human Rights Media Award and nominee for the Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism.

Now firmly rooted in Winnipeg, Dan visits Toronto often but no longer pines to live there.

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