THE CORRUPTION OF OUR INSTITUTIONS 3
Edmonton Police and Crown Prosecutors are also a disgrace, condoning brutal conduct by bully-coward city cops - like Calgary cops and Crowns. Disband all Alberta city police forces - corrupt-thugs.
EDMONTON POLICE OFFICER WHO KICKED INDIGENOUS TEEN’S HEAD WON’T BE CHARGED DESPITE SCATHING ASIRT DECISION
“In accordance with the opinion provided by the ACPS, ASIRT will not lay charges against the subject officer”
Edmonton Sun, by Jonny Wakefield Published Apr 27, 2023
Pacey Dumas, 18, was hospitalized with a severe head injury on Dec. 9, 2020, which required doctors to remove a section of his skull. In a new lawsuit, Dumas and his family say the injury was caused by an Edmonton Police Service officer. PHOTO BY SUPPLIED
Alberta’s police watchdog is slamming the actions of a police officer who kicked an Indigenous teenager in the head, but says it will not proceed with charges because prosecutors have declined to take up the case.
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The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) released a long-awaited decision Thursday in the case of Pacey Dumas, who suffered a severe head injury during a December 2020 arrest by Edmonton Police Service Const. Ben Todd.
Dumas claims Todd kicked him in the head without provocation as he lay on the ground outside his mother’s home. Dumas, who was 18 at the time and weighed 90 lbs, spent nine days in hospital during which doctors removed a tennis-ball-sized piece of his skull to relieve pressure on his swelling brain.
ASIRT’s report strongly criticized Todd’s actions, but said it would not proceed with charges because the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service (ACPS) “provided an opinion to ASIRT that recommended no charges against the (subject officer).”
“In accordance with the opinion provided by the ACPS, ASIRT will not lay charges against the subject officer,” executive director Michael Ewenson stated in the decision.
“This does not, however, mean the (officer’s) conduct was appropriate,” he continued. “It showed a shocking lack of judgment and disregard for the life of (Dumas). The public expects significantly better from a police officer.”
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'Cruel and reprehensible': Edmonton police sued after officer allegedly kicks Indigenous youth in the head
Ewenson noted Todd, who is not named in the decision, was “standing above a 90-pound 18-year-old and pointing a firearm at him with two other officers nearby offering assistance. While the law allows police to use force during an arrest in appropriate circumstances, using a life-altering kick directly to the head of this (person) as a first resort cannot be supported.”
Heather Steinke-Attia, Dumas’s lawyer, said she is stunned by the Crown’s decision. She said Dumas’s mother was in tears when she reached them on the phone Wednesday afternoon.
“I’m disgusted. I’m shocked,” said Steinke-Attia, who previously worked as in-house counsel for EPS. “This is a cover-up. This is, for some reason, a path that the Crown Prosecution Service continues to take in protecting officers who don’t deserve protection.”
“There is an independent eyewitness who watched it entirely unfold,” she said. “There was another witness, the brother. There’s no way that these actions can be justified by this officer in the circumstances — in any circumstance, but certainly not the ones that unfolded.”
“I am not letting this go,” she added.
Pacey Dumas, 19, was hospitalized with a severe head injury on Dec. 9, 2020, which required doctors to remove a section of his skull. In a new lawsuit, Dumas and his family say the injury was caused by an Edmonton Police Service officer. supplied image jpg
Like ‘a soccer ball’
According to ASIRT, the incident began on the evening of Dec. 9, 2020, when a man called 911 claiming there had been a fight inside his home involving a male with a knife.
Todd was dispatched to Dumas’s mother’s house along with two other officers, a canine unit and three other officers who positioned themselves behind the house.
Todd, who was carrying a carbine, assembled in front of the house with the two other officers, one of whom carried an ARWEN, a “less-lethal” baton launcher.
According to the four officers who witnessed the incident (Todd declined to give a statement but provided notes), Dumas came out of the house and complied with instructions to crawl on his belly toward the officers.
The officers claimed Dumas told them he was the person with the knife and began to reach for his waistband. Todd then told Dumas to stop or he would kick him in the face.
The officers claimed Dumas continued to reach for his pockets, after which Todd “delivered a kick to (his) head.”
Two non-police witnesses saw the kick. One, a neighbour with no connection to Dumas, said Dumas was lying on the ground squirming with his hands behind his back. An officer with a gun was shouting commands, then kicked him in the face “as if you’re kicking … a soccer ball.”
Pacey Dumas during an interview in Edmonton on Nov. 2, 2021, holds a photo of him in hospital after a kick from an Edmonton Police Service officer left him with a hole in his skull. Ian Kucerak/Postmedia PHOTO BY IAN KUCERAK /Postmedia
Dumas’s brother Blair, who has since died, also witnessed the kick.
Pacey Dumas was immediately knocked unconscious and handcuffed by one of the officers. Paramedics, who had been on standby, “immediately recognized that (Dumas’s) condition was very serious” and had to repeatedly ask officers to remove the handcuffs, ASIRT said. Dumas was then rushed to hospital in life-threatening condition.
Before he was taken to hospital, an officer searched Dumas for a knife but could not find one. A knife was found in the general area the next day, but investigators concluded it was unrelated to the incident. Dumas was never charged.
Ewenson acknowledged a person with a knife a short distance from a police officer can pose a lethal threat. However, he said the only reason Dumas was close to Todd was because he followed instructions to crawl in his direction.
“While the law recognizes that police officers operate in dynamic situations, it is difficult to see how the life of any officer was threatened by the 90-pound (Dumas), who was laying on the ground and covered by multiple officers with a range of weapons and a police dog.”
Ewenson said Todd’s claim that he did not have time to order the other officers to take action “is not believable.”
“His decision that he should be the one to act, and then to use that level of force, was not necessary,” Ewenson wrote, concluding Todd acted in a “hasty and violent manner.”
Ewenson concluded there were “reasonable grounds” to believe the officer may have committed a crime, but said ASIRT would not proceed with charges given the Crown’s unwillingness to prosecute the case.
ASIRT, Crown spar over charging decisions
ASIRT has long struggled with case backlogs and funding issues. The UCP recently topped up the agency’s budget following then-executive director Susan Hughson’s contentious departure from the agency.
ASIRT has also publicly disagreed with the Crown in several cases over its refusal to prosecute ASIRT files.
ASIRT is able to lay charges on its own, but will typically only do so if the prosecution service agrees there is a “reasonable likelihood” of conviction.
ASIRT’s standard of proof for laying a charge is lower, with the agency’s executive director needing only “reasonable grounds” to believe an officer committed a crime.
Between 2015 and 2020, ASIRT handled 352 files and concluded 66 justified charges. Just 22 of those — one-third — were taken up by the prosecution.
In a statement, ACPS issues adviser and legal counsel Greg Ball called the circumstances of the case “disturbing,” but said the service did not believe it could prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt in court.
“In this case, an ACPS prosecutor reviewed the investigation and surrounding circumstances and concluded that the charges did not meet our standard for prosecution,” he said.
“ACPS has carefully and thoroughly reviewed the entire file provided by ASIRT and consulted with an independent expert on the use of force in reaching the determination not to proceed with a prosecution. In addition, the file was also reviewed by senior counsel in ACPS who reached the same conclusion.”
Todd is currently on paid leave, EPS spokeswoman Carolin Maran said in an email. Maran said the EPS professional standards branch will carry out an investigation under the Police Service Regulation, which could lead to disciplinary charges.
“The EPS recognizes the significant interest in this incident, as well as the impact it has had on our entire community,” Maran said. “We are committed to addressing concerns when the investigative and court processes are complete.
Dumas has filed a $400,000 lawsuit against Todd and the police service. Dates for trial have not been set.
Pacey Dumas during an interview in Edmonton on Nov. 2, 2021, was left with a hole in his skull as a result of being kicked by an Edmonton Police Service officer. PHOTO BY IAN KUCERAK /Postmedia
I posted this comment below the Edmonton Sun story:
My post was soon deleted as “CONTENT DEACTIVATED” – our corrupt media are in bed with our corrupt cops - the cops feed the media juicy stories, and the media cover-up for the dirty cops.
This story is similar to the Calgary Police murder of young Anthony Heffernan, who was peaceful and non-threatening but was shot several times in the face by a brutal, trigger-happy Calgary cop. ASIRT recommended murder charges against the cop, but our corrupt Crown Prosecutor’s office refused to lay charges.
That same trigger-happy Calgary cop also shot and killed quadriplegic Steve McQueen – McQueen had a rifle but had very limited use of his arms The same cop waited by the side of the door, and when McQueen exited the cop capped him. A rational cop would simply have taken the rifle.
Calgary had two cops who had shot two civilians – and none of these shootings seemed justified.
In Calgary in 2016 and again in 2018, ~9* unarmed civilians were shot by city police, in a population of 1.4 million, a rate of 6.43 per million. In the USA in 2019, a total of 56 unarmed civilians were shot and killed by police, in a population of 330 Million, a rate of 0.17 per million. IN CONCLUSION, BASED ON THIS DATA, AN UNARMED PERSON IS ~38 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO BE SHOT BY CALGARY POLICE THAN BY POLICE IN THE USA.
Organizations are defined, not by their average behavior, but by the worst behavior. According to this standard, the Calgary Police Service is a brutal, corrupt, criminal organization. While this criminality may only describe the worst ~~10% of CPS officers, it is clearly supported and covered-up by senior CPS management and oversight bodies and it contaminates the image of all decent, hard-working CPS officers.
The Calgary Crown prosecutor’s office is similarly corrupt and disgraced by their obvious criminal conduct.
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