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article imageOfficer seen kicking man on video will not face charges

By Lynn Curwin     Feb 14, 2011 in Crime
Victoria - A Victoria police officer who was seen on video kicking two men will not face criminal charges, after an investigation concluded that he had used legally permissible force.
A citizen captured footage of the incident, which took place on March 21, 2010 and was then placed on YouTube.
"The visual images on the video showing the application of force are emotionally disturbing, however, in all the circumstances of the incident there is evidence that the officer was using force lawfully in order to gain control in an unstable and unsafe situation," CBC News quoted a statement from BC's Criminal Justice Branch as saying.
The video shows three officers making arrests following a brawl outside of a bar.
Const. Chris Bowser, who is wearing a yellow jacket in the video, is seen kicking two men who were on the ground at the time.
Three police officers and two reserve members came across a fight involving several people. One person was on the ground and being kicked in the head.
"To bring the situation under control two officers ran into the crowd, which consisted of seven to ten fighters and approximately thirty to forty onlookers standing in the immediate vicinity," reported that the branch stated. "One of these officers deployed a pepper spray, some of which inadvertently struck the second officer in the left eye. The pepper spray caused the person kicking or stomping to stop his attack on the unconscious male."
They said a justified use of force is designed to dissolve a potential risk to the officer's safety or achieve some other legitimate purpose and that, "while many witnesses viewed the officer's conduct as heavy handed, many also confirmed that the two individuals who were kicked were resisting police efforts to handcuff them."
They also stated that what was on video was only about a minute of an event which lasted from five to 20 minutes, according to witnesses.
The two men who were kicked, 24-year-old Harpinder Kang and 20-year-old Tyler Archer, and four others were taken into custody but no criminal charges were laid because the alleged victims refused to cooperate with police.
Lawyer Richard Neary, who is representing Archer and Kang in a civil lawsuit, said a preliminary Police Act investigation by the Calgary Police Department found that Bowser used excessive force against Archer, but not against Kang.
He is now asking that a retired judge be appointed to investigate.
"The officers did not act in a reckless and wanton manner, but deployed calculated police tactics designed to minimize injury and subdue the assailants," the Times Colonist quoted Victoria police Chief Jamie Graham as saying while reading from a statement.
He said Bowser, who was been with the department for nine years and is an outstanding officer, will return to regular duties.
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