Troubled Kelowna cop off the hook for third assault charge

The Criminal Justice Branch concluded that no charges will be laid against Const. Geoffrey Mantler in connection with his use of force in an on duty incident in Kelowna on Aug. 10, 2010, the Criminal Justice Branch announced Thursday.

The Criminal Justice Branch concluded that no charges will be laid against Const. Geoffrey Mantler in connection with his use of force in an on duty incident in Kelowna on Aug. 10, 2010, the branch announced Thursday.

“The available evidence supports the conclusion that the force was used for legitimate purposes and that it was prop  ortionate and reasonable,” read their report.  “Accordingly the evidence does not provide a substantial likelihood of conviction.”

In reaching its decision the Criminal Justice Branch considered the evidence of the complainant, the evidence of police officers involved in the incident, the evidence of several independent civilian witnesses who observed portions of the incident, evidence of the circumstances leading up to the incident, the Criminal Code provisions relating to the use of force by police officers, and relevant prior judicial decisions. No individual statement or piece of evidence was determinative of the Branch decision.

The complaint in this case came from Jeremy Packer, who was driving a repossessed boat back to his employer when was arrested on the William R. Bennett bridge at gunpoint by officers who had been told the boat had been stolen.

In an interview in January, Packer alleged that an officer 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.

Packer says at the time of those two punches, his hands were behind his back and he was not resisting.

Packer, who was never charged with a criminal offence following the incident, suffered abrasions, road rash and a black eye, in addition to losing a tooth.

He filed an official complaint to the RCMP back in November and the findings from that investigation led to police forwarding a report to Crown counsel, said Sgt. Rob Vermeulen Tuesday.

The file was reviewed by Deputy Regional Crown Counsel and Regional Crown Counsel in the branch’s northern region, both of whom concluded that the available evidence did not provide a basis to approve any charge against Mantler, who still faces two charges that will go to court later this month.

 

Kelowna Capital News