Muenz Law Office Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer

Mountie charged with assault on teen found not guilty

When you are charged with a crime of any kind, there are usually multiple circumstances surrounding the incident. Those circumstances helped one judge to side with a Mountie when he was charged with assault on a 15-year-old girl during her arrest.

After a call came in to the RCMP stating that some young people were setting fires in Fort Saskatchewan, the officer drove to the area to investigate the report. He observed three young girls around a blaze of fire. When the girls spotted the officer, they began to walk away from the fire. The officer ordered them to stop, and two heeded his command, but a third girl yelled something back at the officer. When he instructed the 100-pound girl to take her hands out of her pockets, she refused to do so. As he approached her with his handcuffs, a struggle ensued, which was recorded on the officer's dashboard video camera.

The officer, being much larger than the small girl made the struggle appear to be "ugly" as described by the judge. The girl claimed that the officer body-slammed her to the ground. Shown on the video recording, the constable lifted the girl by her coat and then dropped her back onto the ground in a face-down position. She then turned on her side and was hit by the officer on her arm. Kicking at the officer, she sent his glasses flying.

The girl was finally handcuffed by the officer. According to another officer, the girl's injuries included a bloody nose, road rash on her forehead, and scrapes and bruises on hands and knees. But the girl admitted that she was continuing to spout verbal abuse at the officer.

The judge, although calling the struggle "ugly," exclaimed that the whole picture had to be considered. The aggressive and uncooperative nature of the girl had the judge agreeing that the force used by the officer was not excessive. She said if he was guilty of anything, it was of "not using enough force, thus prolonging the event."

If you are accused of a crime, you need to ensure your attorney has all of the facts of the case. When preparing your defense, your attorney may be able to show that your actions were necessary, or you had reason to believe they were. The circumstances are not always as bad as they appear to be, as this incident surely proves.

Source: CBC News, "Mountie only guilty of 'not using enough force,' judge says in assault trial," Janice Johnston, Dec. 15, 2015

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