BRITISH COLUMBIA

William Watts RCMP Assault Charge Dropped Against Mountie

03/06/2013 07:42 EST | Updated 05/06/2013 05:12 EDT
VICTORIA - An RCMP officer has been cleared of an assault charge in connection with allegations that he repeatedly punched a man in the head in Terrace, B.C.

Criminal Justice Branch spokesman Neil MacKenzie says the charge against the unnamed officer was not approved after a careful analysis of the May 15, 2012 incident involving William Watts.

MacKenzie says the evidence does not reliably establish the accuracy of the allegations against the Mountie.

He says Crown lawyers have also concluded that they can't prove unlawful force was used in pulling Watts from a police vehicle, resulting in his fall to the ground.

MacKenzie says the evidence as a whole suggests there is no substantial likelihood of a conviction on a charge of assault.

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association has raised concerns about the RCMP's treatment of aboriginal people in northwest B.C., in three separate incidents, including the one involving Watts, who alleged he was punched after he was handcuffed.

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