Canada Police officer suspended without pay after using "inappropriate force"

02:51  18 july  2017
02:51  18 july  2017 Source:   Edmonton Journal

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An Edmonton Police Service constable was suspended without pay for 35 hours Monday and ordered to undergo remedial tactics training after being found to have used “inappropriate force” against a suspect in a cell.

Mike Flavell had been a constable for just six months when he pushed an “intoxicated” and “belligerent” 54-year-old man — who later admitted was “acting like an idiot” — while he was detained in a holding cell at Northeast Division in December 2014.

The man fell over and hit the back of his head on a cell bench, sustaining a small cut to his head that required neither stitches nor hospitalization.

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Flavell had not been involved in the man’s arrest, but was in the cell block area dealing with his own arrest when the man was brought in.

According to his own testimony, Flavell said the man’s yelling and screaming from inside the cell “was very unsettling” and “unnerving” and that he felt “it was an indication of somebody about to commit an assault.”

Flavell approached the cell door and, having deemed it to be “a barrier to communication” opened the door to speak with the man. Flavell said he “heard a scream and a yell,” at which point he shoved the man in the chest with both hands.

Presiding officer Fred Kamins deemed Flavell had used a “progression of poor judgment and flawed logic” when he “injected himself into the process and initiated the incident that led to the use of force by virtue of having opened the cell door.”

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In handing down his sentence, Kamins also scolded Flavell for his poor attitude during the disciplinary hearing in which he was seen using his cellphone instead of listening to testimony.

Presenting officer Teresa Magee earlier in the hearing argued that Flavell’s evidence to the professional standards branch was “contrived excuses and exaggerations” and his attitude and approach to the hearing showed little respect for the process.

Magee said there was “no justification for any application of force” by Flavell and that excessive use of force “erodes trust in police” and their authority.

Magee had asked for Flavell’s sentence to be 40-hours suspension without pay.

Flavell’s sentence equates to $1,648 in lost wages and must be completed within 90 days.

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