A report released by the B.C. Police Complaint Commissioner has concluded a transit officer lied several times involving a confrontation that led to a man being beaten and jolted with a Taser.
The report, by an independent adjudicator, said Const. Ken Jansen of the South Coast B.C. Transportation Authority made false and misleading statements after the man was subdued at Surrey Memorial Hospital in April 2010.
After an investigation by police, Jansen was accused of abuse of authority, discreditable conduct and deceit for using unnecessary force and then lying about it later to investigators.
Jansen wasn’t on duty that night, but was waiting for RCMP Const. Mitch Spears, who had arrested Robert Booker under the Mental Health Act and was about to hand him over to hospital staff.
The report, by adjudicator Carole Lazar, said that when the man began punching the Mountie, Jansen claimed to have jumped in to help overpower Booker.
Jansen described a struggle in which Booker was kicking the two officers and trying to pull his arms away from them, Lazar’s report said.
The officers got Booker — who was in his early 70s at the time — onto the floor, where they tried to put him in handcuffs.
“Booker, he says, continues to try to punch and kick the officers. It was at this point that he says Spears deployed the Taser,” the report said of Jansen’s account of the incident.
But Lazar determined the facts didn’t add up to the claims made by the officer.
“One must wonder, while face down on the floor with Jansen on his back like this, Booker was managing to try to throw punches as Jansen described in his PRIME report,” Lazar said of the police database report.
“The document misrepresented the facts by exaggerating the peril that Spears was facing and by omitting the injuries Booker sustained as well as any evidence that might have explained how they were inflicted.”
She concluded Jansen “intentionally falsified” his report in a way that he hoped would help Spears in defending his decision to use the Taser.
The adjudicator determined that the other accusations of discreditable conduct and abuse of authority were unsubstantiated.
Criminal charges alleging the two officers assaulted Booker were dropped earlier this year when a provincial court judge ruled a 22-month delay infringed on their charter rights to a timely trial.
The police complaint commission hearing will resume Feb. 7, where Lazar will hear submissions on appropriate disciplinary measures from lawyers for the commission and Jansen.