Three RCMP officers have been criminally charged, four years after a violent arrest in a Prince George alley that was captured by a backyard security camera.
Now, Const. Joshua Grafton is charged with assault, assault with a weapon and obstruction of justice.
Const. Wayne Connell and Const. Kyle Sharpe are charged with assault causing bodily harm.
The three Prince George officers have been charged just 10 days after B.C.’s police watchdog asked Crown to consider charges against 5 Prince George RCMP officers in the unrelated police custody death of Dale Culver in 2017.
All eight officers in both incidents remain on active duty, according to Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet, senior media relations officer with RCMP’s E Division.
“The officers’ fitness to continue to be on active duty has been assessed. We are confident they can continue their duties in a manner that is safe and meets public expectation,” Shoihet told CBC News after the charges were announced.
Police have said the February 18, 2016, case, in which the three Prince George Mounties are now charged, involved two suspects in a stolen truck who were evading arrest.
That arrest was captured by a backyard security camera. The footage shows snow falling in a dark alley, before a truck is boxed in by police.
The arrest that follows is flood-lit by the headlights of an RCMP cruiser.
The surveillance video appears to show a man pulled from the truck by RCMP working with a police dog. After the man exits the truck, the dog lunges at him, and an officer appears to strike the man while he is on the ground.
A second man in the vehicle is pulled from the passenger side and appears to be stomped and kicked by officers.
The same day the video was made public, the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. sent investigators to Prince George, at the request of the RCMP.
The lawyer for one of the men arrested called for police officers to be charged.
Liam Cooper, acting as an agent for lawyer Jason Lebond, told CBC in 2016, ” We’d like to know for the citizens in Prince George if what we see in this video is acceptable police conduct.”
The three officers are scheduled to appear in provincial court in Prince George on Aug. 12.