Quebec officer charged with assault after probe by police watchdog
MONTREAL -- Charges have been laid against a Surete du Quebec officer following an investigation by Quebec’s police watchdog, the Bureau des Enquetes Independantes (BEI).
The charges, brought forward by the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP), stem from an event that took place in Saint-Cyrille-de-Wendover on July 16, 2020, when a man was seriously injured during a police intervention, according to the (BEI).
The BEI investigation is reportedly the first to result in criminal charges against a police officer.
The watchdog submitted its report on the incident in December and a common assault charge has since been laid against Surete du Quebec officer Danny Poliquin.
The BEI opened the investigation on July 20, just days after the incident.
According to the watchdog report, an officer on a motorcycle intercepted a vehicle that had stopped on the shoulder of Highway 20 due to a punctured tire.
“When the police officer told him to have his vehicle towed, the civilian reacted badly and did not comply with the police officer's repeated requests,” read the report.
The officer proceeded to bring the man to the ground in order to restrain him and after a brief struggle, the officer handcuffed the man.
Two other officers arrived at the scene about an hour after the intervention.
“As they tried to get him to his feet, the man lost consciousness. He was returned to the ground. The civilian was breathing while unconscious," according to the report.
The man was transported to hospital in an ambulance and regained consciousness, according to the BEI.
“Since the case is before the courts, the BEI will not make more information public in order not to undermine the fairness and integrity of the judicial process,” wrote the watchdog in a Tuesday press release.