Calgary Police Are Not Above Assault Laws
As mentioned before on this blog, the assault laws in effect in Calgary cover a very broad range of behaviors. Any unwanted physical contact could be deemed a crime according to the legal definition of assault, and even threatening or intimidating someone with verbal or physical gestures without any contact being made can also rise to the level of criminal assault. It is important to remember that these laws apply to everyone, at all times.
One might think that this definition of assault wouldn't apply to Calgary Police officers, and it's true that the nature of police work means they might be required to physically restrain or subdue people at certain times: when making an arrest, breaking up a fight, or preventing violence or another crime in action. But even though their jobs may require them to make physical contact from time to time, Calgary Police are not above the law. As a recent incident shows, there are strict limits on the force the police are allowed to employ, and they can be held accountable by the Calgary courts just like anyone else.
Charges Laid Against Calgary Officers Include Assault
The officers in this case have been charged with serious crimes that represent an egregious breach of their duties and the public trust. In addition, the charges were not laid until a full investigation had been conducted; though these officers deserve their day in court just like any Calgary citizen charged with a crime, it seems clear that significant misconduct occurred.
The incident involved three officers, all of whom have been charged with assault for their rough treatment of a Calgary citizen they were arresting. Two of the officers have also been charged with public mischief, based on what are allegedly false statements made about the citizen they were arresting which led to false charges being laid against him (all charges against the person arrested have been stayed). In fact, the false accusations and statements are seen as even more serious than the assault charged by some.
"I consider the dishonesty and the charging of a person who did not commit an offence to be, by far, the more serious charges," said Sue Hughson, executive director of the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), which investigated the incident. "To suggest that a person committed an offence that they did not commit and potentially subject that person to the criminal justice process, and potentially imprisonment, is extremely serious."
Though the officers have not yet been convicted, the assault and public mischief charges are quite serious, and the accused officers are due to appear in court on October 19.
Contact a Calgary Defence Lawyer for Your Assault Charge
If you've been charged with assault in Calgary, you're entitled to present the best defence possible for your case, no matter who you are. For a free initial consultation with one of Calgary's most passionate defence lawyers, please contact my office today.