Mantler review to pursue assault complaint



The Kelowna Mountie increasingly notorious for acts of brutality in the line of duty won’t see a third assault charge materialize from an allegation of excessive force, but that doesn’t mean he’ll get off scot-free either.

Supt. Bill McKinnon announced Thursday that he believed Const. Geoff Mantler is “51 per cent at fault” in the incident where he allegedly punched repo-man Jeremy Packer in the head, while arresting him for a theft he was never subsequently charged with.

As such, the case is among “three allegations of disgraceful conduct” that McKinnon said should be dealt with at an RCMP disciplinary hearing.

The findings of that hearing could amount to Mantler either losing his job, being demoted, or facing a 10-day suspension, without pay, for each count.

It’s a departure from Crown counsel’s decision not to pursue charges in the Packer complaint, citing there was “no substantial likelihood of conviction.”

But McKinnon explained the two have different mandates.

“You may wonder why I would find the actions of Const. Mantler to be disgraceful in the Jeremy Packer incident when Crown counsel has not approved pressing charges,” McKinnon said.

“The RCMP code of conduct and the Criminal Code of Canada have two very different standards when it comes to finding an outcome.

“The Criminal Code is based on the premise of reasonable doubt, whereas the code of conduct is based on the balance of probability.”

It wasn’t until reviewing all the facts that McKinnon found the majority of fault to lie with Mantler.

That’s when he sent his summary of the information at hand to the province’s top cop, who will ultimately decide if the disciplinary hearing will be held.

“We don’t have control over what happens on the criminal side, but we can hold our employees accountable when they fall short of meeting our service delivery standard,” he said.

Packer, 30, initiated the complaint to the RCMP in November, alleging he had been assaulted by a police officer on the Bennett Bridge Aug.10, 2010, while driving a repossessed boat back to his employer.

In an interview in January, Packer alleged he was arrested at gunpoint by officers who were told the boat had been stolen.

One, he alleged, punched him in the head while he was being pulled out of the truck.

He then claimed he was punched at least two more times in the head while on the ground.

At the time of those two punches, he said his hands were behind his back and he was not resisting. He was never charged with a criminal offence following the incident, and suffered abrasions, road rash and a black eye, in addition to losing a tooth.

Meantime, Mantler is still suspended with pay  and awaiting an April 26 court date for two other charges that Crown Counsel approved.

One stems from an August incident involving Manjit Singh Bhatti but the details of that case have not been released.

The other the highly publicized Buddy Tavares case where Mantler was caught on video kicking the man in the head, while he was on the ground submitting to arrest.

It sparked a public outcry that’s continued to follow the Mounties for months.

 

kmichaels@kelownacapnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Late night confrontation between two men in Peachland

RCMP was called to the scene of a physcial encounter on Saturday evening where one man was injured

Kelowna hotel suffers water damage

Guests at the Royal Anne Hotel in Bernard were greeted by firefighters last night

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

Hodge: You can’t make this stuff up

Kelowna columnist with a story that proves in life, it’s never too late

UPDATED: Man dies after struck by vehicle

A man died after being hit by a vehicle in West Kelowna

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

Who is Curtis Sagmoen?

The Observer reveals what we know about the man attached to the Silver Creek property where human remains were found

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

First-place Warriors edge Caps, visit ‘Backs today

West Kelowna scores twice in 25 seconds early in third to overtake Cowichan Valley in BCHL action

Grab a book; thank your librarian

All libraries are cornerstones of their communities and we celebrate them during library month

Five decades of volunteering

Even though she is approaching 70, Merle kindred continues to volunteer around the world

Twarynski trick sends Rockets past ‘Hawks

Rockets end five-game winless streak with victory Friday over Portland

Vehicle leaves scene after striking lamp post

After hitting a lamp post on Springfield Road, a vehicle has left the scene

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Most Read