NEWS

Eric Pomerleau, RCMP officer caught on video punching man, subject of complaint

11/14/2014 08:00 EST | Updated 01/14/2015 05:59 EST
A complaint has been filed against an RCMP constable who was caught on video punching Cory Nielsen and throwing him to the ground at the Red Deer detachment two years ago.

The confrontation occurred after the Const. Eric Pomerleau witnessed Nielsen running a red light. Nielsen was charged with impaired driving and resisting a peace officer, but those convictions were overturned on appeal last month.

In issuing his decision, Court of Queen’s Bench Justice John Little remarked on the excessive use of force used by police on Dec. 17, 2012, the night of Nielsen’s arrest. 

Nielsen’s lawyer, Deborah Hatch, now wants the RCMP public complaints commission to investigate Pomerleau, the officer involved in the altercation.

"Police have to investigate not only whether disciplinary proceedings are appropriate," Hatch said, "but as in any other case where you have video that shows somebody gratuitously beating somebody else, who's not even fighting back, you have to consider criminal charges."

RCMP Inspector Gibson Glavin said Pomerleau's conduct was investigated at the time but nothing was found to support criminal charges or a breach of the RCMP code of conduct.

Glavin said the force will review the appeal judge’s comments.

"If a conviction had been overturned for that reason, it would be cause for concern," he said.

Pomerleau remains on active duty. Pomerleau had previously testified that at the time of the incident at the Red Deer detachment, Nielsen appeared angry, which prompted him to grab hold of Nielsen’s arm, intending to turn and handcuff him.

Pomerleau said Nielsen resisted throughout the altercation and that his body was tense. He said punching Nielsen in the stomach was an attempt to "stun" him but that the attempt was unsuccessful.

Nielsen has rejected Pomerleau's version of what transpired. In court, his lawyer described Pomerleau's actions as excessive, gratuitous violence,

After CBC News reported on Nielsen’s case last year, Hatch was alerted to another video from August 2012 that shows Pomerleau in an altercation with a youth at the Red Deer detachment.

The video was entered as evidence in Nielsen’s appeal. Hatch said the videos reveal a pattern of behaviour that the RCMP should have already dealt with.

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