Regional Police Officer Charged With Assault And Unlawful Confinement : B93.3 FM : Lethbridge's #1 Hit Music Station : Lethbridge News, Alberta
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Regional Police Officer Charged With Assault And Unlawful Confinement



A City Police Constable has been charged with assault causing bodily harm and unlawful confinement in connection with an incident that occurred while he was on duty.


The incident in question happened about 8:30-pm on December 29th, 2012. An officer was investigating a hit and run complaint in the 1700 block of Ashgrove Road. Upon speaking with a 16-year-old male, the officer found him to be intoxicated and placed the suspect under arrest for public intoxication. A struggle ensued as the officer attempted to place him in the back of the police car and the teen s head struck the car chipping two of his teeth.


On February 5th, 2013 police received a formal complaint regarding the officer s conduct. An internal investigation was subsequently ordered by Chief of Police Tom McKenzie, who confirms the complaint came from the teen's legal guardian.


Chief Tom McKenzie explains the charge of unlawful confinement was arrived at because, "The young offender was arrested and detained in the back of a patrol car so, at that point, under the legal definition of unlawful confinement, it's someone who is held against their will, restrained or their freedom is taken from them".


The investigation was completed by the Professional Standards Unit and forwarded to the Regional Crown Prosecutor s Office for review. Upon reviewing the file the Crown directed that the officer be charged with assault causing bodily harm and unlawful confinement.


Four-year veteran Constable, 33-year old Norman Smith, has no other complaints against him and has been relieved from duty with pay pending the outcome of the matter in court as well an internal disciplinary process. Smith is scheduled to appear in court September 9th, 2013.


When asked about the fact that several officers have been charged in the past year, Chief McKenzie responded, "These are allegations, they are investigated - our complaints against police are not significantly higher, in fact, in some categories they are down and in some they are up by one or two incidents (year-to-date). This is not unusual in a highly litigious society now".


The Chief went on to say, "The expectation by the public -fair enough, and it should be - that our police service is open and transparent and that we're held to a higher standard - we accept that. We also ask for understanding and a willingness to let systems work and that investigations be completed thoroughly and fully and let the courts make decisions".


Constable Smith is the same officer who suffered severe head injuries during an on-duty assault on February 23rd of 2011. Smith found two-men walking along south Parkside Drive in the early morning hours and discovered one was wanted on outstanding warrants in Calgary. While attempting to make an arrest, Smith was severely beaten and suffered a skull fracture, bleeding on the brain and a broken nose. The two Calgary men, Raymond Asham and Aaron Head, were both sentenced to 33-months in prison in the fall of 2012.


Posted on Thursday, July 18, 2013 at 4/15/2014 12:41:55 PM
Source: Dori Modney (@Dori_Modney on Twitter) -- Country 95 News
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