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Constable found guilty of assault, placed on administrative duties

On Friday, Const. Christopher Brinnen was found guilty of one count of assault relating to an incident that occurred on Feb. 15, 2010 near Gotcha's night club.

RCMP Supt. Bill McKinnon announced that he has placed Brinnen on administrative duties while a comprehensive operational readiness assessment is conducted.

"He has been put in a non-operational capacity within the detachment, which means he will not be responding to any calls. He is not out on the road at this point in time," said McKinnon.

"We will be assigning him, for lack of a better term, to desk duty, until we make a decision."

McKinnon said that the assessment will involve a number of steps, including a review of the judge's comments.

After receiving the complaint about Brinnen on Feb. 23, 2010, McKinnon assigned the Professional Standards Unit to investigate. On July 15, 2010, they submitted a report to Crown Counsel.

He also ordered an Internal Code of Conduct investigation and later recommended formal discipline. On Aug. 11, 2010, Crown Counsel approved one count of assault.

Around 2 a.m. on Feb. 15, 2010, Kyle Nelson had a verbal exchange with Brinnen after both men showed each other the middle-finger.

Brinnen had testified that he chased Nelson into an alley with his SUV and then jumped out of the vehicle and followed Nelson over a fence.

Once over the fence, the judge determined that Nelson raised his hands while BrinnenĀ  closed in and punched him in the face.

"The judge found that Const. Brinnen used excessive force in trying to apprehend the male patron and stated that Const. Brinnen operated too fast and went too far and that there were other reasonable options available," said McKinnon.

"While this behaviour by one of my constables is very disappointing, it is a clear sign that we are also held to account by the court system."

Brinnen is not the only mountie from the Kelowna detachment to get into hot water in recent history. When asked whether McKinnon saw a problematic pattern, he quickly answered "no."

"We deal with a lot of issues. We're dealing with people in desperate moments that are asked to make decisions. Sometimes mistakes are made."

wpaterson@kelownacapnews.com

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