VANCOUVER - A police disciplinary hearing involving two Victoria officers who were captured on video repeatedly kicking a man outside a local night club has ruled that the allegations of abuse of authority against the officers were "unsubstantiated."
Chief Const. Dave Jones of the New Westminster Police Service ruled in his Police Act investigation released Wednesday that the use of force by Const. Brendan Robinson and Acting Sgt. Chris Bowser appeared to be necessary to bring the man under control.
The March 21, 2010 incident, which was captured on video and posted on YouTube, took place after the officers came upon a brawl while conducting a foot patrol in the city's downtown. About 10 people were involved in the melee.
Jones said the officers testified under oath and were subjected to cross examination and follow-up questions during the disciplinary hearing. In contrast, Tyler Archer, the man being kicked in the video, didn't attend the proceedings or co-operate with police, said Jones.
"It is clear that in considering the materials available within this incident and the evidence presented at the disciplinary proceedings that the burden of proof has not been met to the stand as required," wrote Jones of the allegations.
In summarizing the event, Jones said Bowser ordered Archer to get down on the ground twice.
He said Robinson's initial actions were a "low level of force, hands on," and an attempt to push Archer from a seated position onto the ground.
Jones said the "level of force appears to be appropriate based on the evidence provided."
Turning to the kicks and knee strikes, Jones said Archer was on his hands and knees at the time and was not on the ground.
"Both members have described that Mr. Archer was attempting to crawl away, and that he had clenched his fists and arms in a resisting manner, requiring the officers to escalate their levels of force in order to bring Mr. Archer under control," he wrote.
Jones said the proceedings needed Archer to attend as a witness so he could clarify his own actions. But he did not show up.
British Columbia's Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner announced it will now review Jones' decision and announce its findings by the end of next month.
The commission said it can hold a public hearing, conduct a review on the record, which is done by a retired judge, or confirm the decision.
The Criminal Justice Branch declined to approve charges against Robinson and Bowser, after a separate external criminal investigation conducted by the Vancouver Police Department.