A veteran Windsor, Ont., police officer has been charged with assault after someone turned in video that appears to show the accused kicking a man.
The video was given first to a media outlet Wednesday and then to the police department's professional standards branch.
In the video, a young black man is seen lying in a stairwell. A man that appears to be a uniformed police officer punches the man once and kicks him twice.
Kent Rice, a 12-year veteran of the force, has been charged and suspended with pay.
The footage came from surveillance video taken at Windsor Residence, a low-income housing apartment building on McDougall Avenue. It was recorded in February, two months after police Acting Chief Al Frederick announced Project Accountability in response to the Det. David Van Buskirk assault case.
Van Buskirk pleaded guilty to assaulting innocent Dr. Tyceer Abouhassan in 2010, after that beating was caught on video.
A volunteer board member at the YMCA facility brought the latest video to police Wednesday morning. Ontario's Special Investigations Unit was notified right away.
"We’re awaiting to hear from the Windsor Police as to the seriousness of the [man’s] injuries," SIU spokesperson Monica Hudon said. "We saw the video. We don’t know whether he was seriously injured, as per legislation."
Frederick says he's disappointed about the latest incident.
"It would be my hope if anything like this does occur [that] the people come forward immediately so it gets the attention it needs," he said.
Windsor Police Association president Jason DeJong said the union has been in contact with Rice.
"But I can’t really comment. There’s an ongoing investigation. It would be improper for me to comment at this time," DeJong said.
Coalition also viewed video
After receiving the video, police also notified members of the local black coalition. Coalition members watched the video and were told of how police are handling the matter.
"I found it very disturbing to see such an act from such a prominent figure within our community," said Rene Taylor, a member of the coalition. "Police officers are the heroes and the protectors in our community, and it really does distress many of us."
The black coalition is urging the victim to come forward. They don't know his identity, but police do, and they've been unable to contact him so far.
It's important for the victim to identify himself so the independent police review director and the SIU can investigate.
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