NEWS

Police officers charged in violent arrest caught on video

05/10/2013 10:19 EDT | Updated 07/10/2013 05:12 EDT
Four police officers caught on video kicking and punching a robbery suspect who appeared to be surrendering are now facing criminal charges.

The officers, from Trois-Rivières, Que. were suspended with pay after the video of the arrest was made public.

The clip, captured by a surveillance video at a nearby college, shows 19-year-old Alexis Vadeboncoeur putting down what appears to be a gun and lying face down in the snow, with his arms outstretched as four Trois-Rivières municipal police officers approach.

It then shows Vadeboncoeur, who doesn't appear to make any threatening movements, being kicked and punched by officers as he lies on the ground.

Police were chasing Vadeboncoeur after he was allegedly involved in an armed robbery at a nearby pharmacy.

The footage of the arrest was released in February following Vadeboncoeur's bail hearing.

In their police report, the officers said the teen had broken into a business. They reported they had to use force because their lives were in danger.

Quebec provincial police were brought in to investigate and charges were officially laid this week.

Marc-André Saint-Amant, Barbara Provencher, Dominic Pronovost and Kaven Deslauriers were charged with several offenses including assault with a weapon, assault causing bodily harm and obstructing justice by hiding the existence of the video.

They have not yet entered a plea

They are scheduled to appear in a Trois-Rivières court on May 31.

The Trois-Rivières police service is also conducting an internal investigation into the incident and is expected to present a report to city council.

The city has said it will not comment on the incident until that report is completed.

René Duval, Vadeboncoeur's lawyer, told Radio-Canada he was very satisfied with the provincial police investigation and the decision of the Crown to follow through with charges.

His client is scheduled to return to court in September.

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