Chatham-Kent police investigate allegations of excessive use of force by two officers
Chatham-Kent police are investigating allegations of excessive use of force by two of its officers.
The case stems from an incident involving a Chatham teenager and two Chatham-Kent police officers.
CTV News has obtained surveillance video of the alleged incident.
The police service says a chief's complaint has been initiated after surveillance video of an altercation surfaced.
Initially, the 17-year-old alleged victim was charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest, but those charges have now been adjourned as police investigate what exactly happened.
"There's been some evidence that's come forward since the allegations were laid against my client that suggest he was treated incorrectly over the course of his arrest," says the teen’s lawyer David Sandor.
Surveillance video allegedly showing an altercation between a 17-year-old African Canadian male and members of the Chatham-Kent Police Service.
“The video surveillance suggests that not everything was as described in the crown's information,” says Sandor. “When I provided that video surveillance to the crown attorney they decided it would be important to investigate this further."
Sandor says the incident happened on July 25.
The surveillance footage appears to show the teenager is either pushed or thrown into view of a camera, landing on the ground.
A few seconds go by and another police officer comes into view, standing next to the youth.
The male is on his hands and knees when the first officer appears to deliver five punches to the male's head and one punch to his mid-section.
The video seems to show the second officer quickly stepping in with what appears to be a stun gun, allegedly shocking the youth's shoulder for several seconds before the male is handcuffed and taken away.
“Ultimately a video camera is often much more reliable than somebody's memory," says Sandor.
Chatham-Kent police Insp. Trevor Crane, who is also with the professional standards branch, issued a statement this morning saying, "The matter came to the attention of police late last week and as a result, a chief's complaint was initiated and an investigator has been assigned to the file."
Crane said further details would not be released to prevent jeopardizing the investigation.
"If something did indeed happen as seems to be the case in the video, it's not representative of what the majority of police officers do,” says Sandor. “It's not representative of any large scale particular problem that we're looking into at this stage, but it is enough that if it happens once in our society we should stand up and take a look and say what exactly happened and how do we stop this from happening again in the future."
The 17-year-old cannot be identified under the criminal Youth Justice Act.