A drunken homeless man on his way to a detox center in Regina was assaulted by a police officer for seemingly no reason. The entire incident was captured via closed caption television cameras just outside of the city’s detox center. The incident originally occurred in 2012, but is making its way back into the news after the officer, who was relieved of duty, was reinstated after a judge overturned the conviction that lead to his dismissal. The video has just recently been released for the world to view.
The video, shared by Metro U.K., shows the homeless man known as Eddie Stonechild, standing outside of the detox center contemplating his entry. The officer, constable Rob Power, pulls up the the curb and confronts Stonechild. There is a brief exchange of words before Power kicks the homeless man in the stomach sending him sailing backwards where he hits his head. The constable then puts on a pair of rubber gloves, flips Stonechild over, and handcuffs him.
The video does show Stonechild approaching the officer, but does not reveal the conversation that occurred or portray Stonechild as a definitive threat to the officer’s life. The amount of force used to restrain Stonechild quickly came into question.
Constable Power was released from duty after the footage was shared with the police force. He was then charged with assault and convicted of the charges. However, Power repealed the conviction in the courts. Nearly a year later, a Queen’s Bench judge overturned the conviction, which allowed Power to return to his spot on the force.
According to CTV News, an independent hearing was also conducted by an appointed officer of the Saskatchewan police commission, which resulted in another recommendation that Power be reinstated to his position.
Despite the reinstatement, a Crown prosecutor is working diligently to overturn the reinstatement decision, based on an appeal that was filed in November.
The video clearly shows the Stonechild approach officer Power, and Power kicking the homeless man away. The issue that many have argues is the basis for the attack. There are no transcripts revealing what content the conversation contained that led to Stonechild approaching the officer, or why the officer felt such force was necessary. There is also the factor that Stonechild was drunk, which could have resulted in the fall due to his unstable footing.
After reviewing the video, what are your thoughts, was the officer in the right, or was his method too brutal?
[Photo Courtesy: Metro U.K.]