By Jensen, Randy on August 25, 2020.
Easter relieved from duty without pay
A Lethbridge Police officer has been charged with assault in relation to a matter involving an altercation with a prisoner earlier this year.
Cst. David Easter has been relieved from duty without pay pending the outcome of the matter in court, the LPS said in a news release.
The charge stems from an incident in the LPS Short Term Holding Facility Feb. 9 involving the officer and a male prisoner inside a cell. The prisoner did not sustain any injuries as a result of the altercation.
Following an internal complaint a Section 46.1 notification under the Police Act was made to the Director of Law Enforcement. While the matter was deemed in-scope, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) was not assigned and the LPS Professional Standards Unit was directed to conduct the investigation. The completed investigation was subsequently forwarded to the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service for review and a charge of assault was recommended.
“In this case I believe exceptional circumstances exist that warrant the relief of duty without pay for the good of the Police Service and to uphold the public expectation that police officers be held to the highest standards,” said Chief Scott Woods in the release.
Under the Police Service Regulation, the Chief’s decision to relieve the officer from duty without pay must be reviewed by the Police Commission within 30 days. As such the Lethbridge Police Commission has been advised and asked to review and confirm the Chief’s decision.
Easter is charged with one count of assault. Easter was released on an undertaking and is scheduled to appear in Lethbridge provincial court Nov. 4.
It marks the second time Easter has been charged with assault while on duty.
Easter was found not guilty of assault after striking a drunken man in the face during an arrest outside of a local nightclub in 2013. Easter said he was acting in self defence because the man was about to punch him.
The man suffered a fractured eye socket and head injuries after falling to the sidewalk. The man testified he could not remember what happened to him.