The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) had their hands full after both RCMP and Edmonton Police Service (EPS) members used questionable force while arresting a suspect.
 
On the evening of July 25, 2017, RCMP and EPS officers, with the help of Air 1, began following a red Ram truck that was speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, running several red lights and passing vehicles on the shoulder.
 
The truck they were following traveled at what the report called “grossly excessive speeds” through north Edmonton and into Strathcona County. The man's driving pattern was described as "highly dangerous, purposefully so, putting anyone in his path at grave risk."
 
The Canine Unit and the Tactical Unit were requested for help after police received information that the vehicle likely contained stolen firearms.
 
Police used a spike belt to stop the truck.
 
A 21-year-old suspect surrendered by laying on the ground with his hands behind his back, before an RCMP member delivered a single kick to the man’s head.
 
ASIRT said the kick was “not tactically sound and there was no observable necessity to use this level of force.”
 
"In his report, the RCMP member failed to mention the initial kick," the ASIRT said. Concerns were raised in follow up interviews. The member indicated that he did not recall kicking the man or, alternatively, indicated that he was concerned about the possibility that the man had a firearm in his waistband and might be “baiting” officers, so he used a distraction strike kick.
 
A video released showed members using various forms of force including knees, kicks and strikes while attempting to handcuff the man.
 
The man suffered fractures to his right orbital, nasal bones and severe bruising.
 
ASIRT identified other issues as well, saying the RCMP vehicle did not effectively block the suspect vehicle.
 
Police did seize two long-barrelled .22-calibre rifles and additional stolen property. The man was also wanted for an outstanding warrant.
 
ASIRT’s executive director, Susan Hughson said there was reasonable grounds to believe an offense had been committed and the uses of force were excessive and could support prosecution.
 
The matter was passed on to the Crown, under the requirements of the Police Act. The Crown determined there was no possibility of conviction and charges would not be laid.
 
ASIRT investigates incidents involving Alberta police officers that have resulted in serious injury or death.

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