NEWS

Officers' group wants appeal of judge's ruling that spit danger is a myth

10/04/2012 10:16 EDT | Updated 12/04/2012 05:12 EST
LA RONGE, Sask. - The Saskatchewan Federation of Police Officers wants to appeal a ruling in which a judge suggested the risk of an officer getting a disease from a suspect’s spit is an urban myth.

The ruling came in a case where a woman was arrested in La Ronge, Sask., for impaired driving.

During the arrest, she kicked at officers and spat directly into one officer's eyes. She pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer.

The prosecution asked for a six-month sentence, citing the stress the officer suffered in worrying about contracting HIV, hepatitis C or herpes.

But Judge Felicia Daunt sentenced her to five days served and six months probation.

Daunt said while she was sympathetic to the stressful job that police officers have, the justice system cannot perpetuate a myth without evidence of risk.

“Whether or not it’s an urban myth, and I would suggest to you that, yes, there may not be a lot of evidence that spit to the eye will result in an officer getting sick, but I would suggest there is a lack of evidence that it wouldn’t happen either,” said Evan Bray, the president of the Saskatchewan Federation of Police Officers.

Bray said the anxiety an officer goes through when such an incident happens is real and far from a myth.

(CJME)

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