calgary defence blog
A Defence lawyer's perspective on issues in criminal law
No Charges Against Calgary Police for Dog Mauling Incident
August 21, 2015
Following an incident where a 72-year old man was pulled to the ground from his truck and attacked by a Calgary Police Service dog, an investigation by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) has decided that no charges will be filed against the officers involved. This is despite a finding that the actions taken were inappropriate and unwarranted.
The incident began when the victim in this case called 911 to report the suspicious sale of jewelry in an alley behind his northeast Calgary home. When told it would take some time for Calgary Police to respond to the call, the man suggested he would take his shotgun outside to ensure the suspicious characters didn't leave. He was told not to involve himself or his firearm in the incident, and he agreed.
Calgary Police were dispatched with the information that there was an incident involving a firearm, however, and they set out to locate and potentially apprehend not the people who had been reported, but the man who had made the call. When they found him in his truck several blocks from his home, they demanded that he step out of the vehicle despite the fact that he had broken no laws; they then proceeded to pull him from the truck onto the ground while he was also attacked by the police dog.
No Charges for Any Involved in Violent Calgary Altercation
No charges were ever laid against the victim in this case, who suffered severe bruising on his shoulder and side from his police-assisted fall from his truck, and who was bitten in the upper arm by the Calgary Police dog while he was being arrested. There is no evidence that this long-time Calgary citizen had committed any crime, and in fact he was targeted by Calgary Police simply for having reported a suspected crime occurring near his own property.
While it is impossible to say whether or not criminal charges would be warranted against the Calgary Police officers involved in this case without a more extensive review of all the evidence available, it seems clear to this Calgary criminal defence lawyer that the police egregiously overstepped their bounds and should at least be sanctioned or disciplined in some manner. No one in Calgary, even a legitimate criminal suspect (who, it should be noted, must be treated as innocent until found guilty in the Calgary courts), should be subjected to physical abuse by the Calgary Police or their canine agents—that isn't how justice works in our system.
Criminal Defence is Every Calgarian's Concern
Allowing law enforcement to intrude in the lives of law-abiding Calgary citizens, and looking the other way when they abuse their authority and cause harm to innocent Calgarians, creates a more dangerous and less equal society for all of us. If you have been the subject of unfair targeting or harassment by the Calgary Police, or if you have been accused of a crime and need assistance to make sure your rights are protected, please contact me immediately. My job is fighting to defend everyone in Calgary, and no one takes that responsibility more seriously.
This entry was posted on August 21, 2015
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