Monday, November 7, 2016

Chatham-Kent Police cleared of lying after video proves it

A black Ontario teenager who was charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest saw charges against him dropped after video emerged of the encounter. Jake Anderson was 17 when he was arrested and charged in Chatham on July 25, 2015.

The surveillance video, shown on CBC-TV as part of the fifth estate investigation "Caught on Camera," differs greatly from the police version of events. Const. Fraser Curtis drew his weapon. (fraserc@chatham-kent.ca)

Const. John Deforest johnd@chatham-kent.ca
Official reports say that when police tried to arrest him, he "fought violently then broke free." They reported that they eventually subdued him with a Taser and took him to the police station. Police alleged an "aggressive" and "intoxicated" Anderson started the confrontation. The police reports obtained by the fifth estate say that after fleeing from them, Andersen tripped and was "on his back throwing punches."

But the video shows Anderson on his stomach, being punched several times by an officer and then tasered. The teenager does not appear to be fighting back.
Crown prosecutors dropped all charges against Anderson after viewing the video. A year after the incident — in July 2016 — the Chatham-Kent Police Service completed its internal review and cleared its officers of any wrongdoing, despite admissions from them that their accounts of key parts of the encounter with Anderson differed from the video.

Anderson's family is suing the Chatham-Kent Police Service.