Lawyer files complaint against Red Deer RCMP constable

A Red Deer RCMP constable who was caught on video beating a man arrested for impaired driving two years ago could be investigated.

A Red Deer RCMP constable who was caught on video beating a man arrested for impaired driving two years ago could be investigated.

Cory Nielsen was acquitted of impaired driving and resisting a peace officer after his convictions were overturned on appeal on Oct. 24. The judge at his original trial had ruled that the police officer did not use excessive force.

Now Nielsen’s Edmonton-based lawyer, Deborah Hatch, has filed a complaint with the RCMP public complaints commission seeking an investigation into the conduct of Const. Eric Pomerleau, the officer allegedly involved in the incident.

Security video footage from the Red Deer RCMP detachment shows Nielsen standing by the RCMP security desk, where he was expected to sign release forms.

He pulls out a cellphone, there is some mild arm-gesturing and Nielsen is seen backing away.

A police officer twists his arm behind his back, pulls him to the ground, and then with help from another officer, attempts to restrain him. Numerous blows are delivered to Nielsen’s face and body.

Hatch said when you see that kind of gratuitous force being applied by a police officer, it’s very concerning for everybody.

“I think we know that police beatings go on in places like Afghanistan,” she said. “I don’t think anyone expects these sorts of things to happen in Canada. We expect courts to dispense justice and decide what should happen in the case.

“We don’t allow our police officers to dispense the kind of justice that they see fit. In Canada we have the presumption of innocence and it’s not for a police officer to decide what’s to happen to somebody.”

Nielsen had been arrested on Dec. 20, 2012, for running a red light and suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

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