A Red Deer RCMP officer charged with assaulting a prisoner in the detachment cellblock will have to wait until January for a judge’s verdict.
A one-day trial was held in Red Deer provincial court earlier this month for Cpl. Kent McDiarmid, who has pleaded not guilty to a single count of assault in connection with a March 2, 2020 incident in the Red Deer detachment cells that saw Evan Deschamps knocked unconscious.
Deschamps, who has since died under unrelated circumstances, had been picked up by police in the early hours of March 2 after they responded to a report of a fight at a Subway near Taylor Drive and 67th Street.
In the cellblock, McDiarmid was the main person dealing with Deschamps, who was belligerent and kept pawing at the officer’s protective vest and at one point touched the belt carrying the officer’s baton and other tools.
McDiarmid testified that at one point Deschamps hit his neck and the officer delivered a “reactive strike” in a split-second decision. “I delivered a single punch to the face.”
Deschamps fell to the floor of the cellblock and was unconscious. Another officer testified he appeared to hit his head on the floor.
McDiarmid immediately called EMS and Deschamps was taken to hospital as a precaution.
Afterwards, an incident review was conducted and then the decision made to do an internal Code of Conduct investigation and a criminal investigation. McDiarmid was charged with assault in February 2021.
A video surveillance recording with no sound of the incident was shown in court.
Judge Gordon Hatch asked the Crown prosecutor and McDiarmid’s defence lawyer to provide their written final submissions next month. He is expected to deliver his verdict on Jan. 4.