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article imageOntario police officer guilty of assault, fabricating evidence

By Arthur Weinreb     Jun 22, 2013 in Crime
Barrie - A veteran police officer was convicted of three charges after a beating he administered in a Barrie, Ontario mall was captured by the mall's surveillance cameras.
Yesterday, Barrie police officer Const. Jason Nevil was found guilty of assault causing bodily harm, fabricating evidence and obstruction of justice, arising from an incident in 2010. In giving his reasons, Judge Lorne Chester said, "I did not find the officer's version of events credible. The incident started out as a minor mischief call. It ended in a violent altercation with a lot of blood and a lot of injuries...I believe [the victim] must have been terrified."
On Nov. 2010, Jason Stern, then 25, was at the Bayfield Mall with a friend. Police were called after it was alleged Stern's friend broke a Christmas ornament.
When Nevil arrived, he can be seen speaking with Stern while two mall security guards stand nearby. Although the 25-year-old did not make any move or threatening gesture, Nevil goes up to him and begins punching. The security guards then go over and help the officer hold Stern on the ground while Nevil continues to punch him. The beating continues even after it appears Nevil is handcuffed and lying on the ground.
Nevil continues to punch and kick Stern for around two minutes until a second officer arrives. Stern is then taken away and was charged with assault and resisting arrest. Those charges were withdrawn after the Crown saw the video.
Nevil testified he thought Stern had a knife and said the 25-year-old had kicked him in the groin. The judge found the officer had fabricated and exaggerated both in his notes and testimony. What the cop was saying was at odds with what the surveillance video showed.
Shortly after the decision was handed down, Kimberley Greenwood, chief of the Barrie Police Service, held a news conference apologizing to the public. She had already apologized to Stern. After saying that police must be held to a higher standard of conduct, Greenwood said, "Sadly, at times, we have incidents that cause the community to question us. If you take one thing from this incident today, know that we are committed to maintaining trust and confidence in our community."
Nevil will be sentenced on Oct. 17. Until then, he remains free on bail and suspended with pay. After he is sentenced, disciplinary proceedings will be commenced that could lead to his dismissal.
Stern has launched a $1 million lawsuit against the Barrie police and the Bayfield Mall for the physical injuries he received and emotional distress.
More about Const Jason Nevil, Police brutality, assault causing bodily harm, barrie police department, fabricating evidence
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