Criminal charges against 2 RCMP officers over Prince George arrest stayed | CBC News

Criminal charges against two Prince George RCMP officers have been stayed by the prosecution, after the trial had already started.

Constables Wayne Connell and Kyle Sharpe were charged with assault causing bodily harm, more than four years after a violent arrest in a back alley in Prince George.

The 2016 police incident involved two men in a stolen truck who RCMP said were evading arrest. The takedown was captured by a backyard security camera.

Late last month, the officers went on trial in Prince George.

A spokesperson for the B.C. Prosecution Service said the decision to stay the charges was made “after the trial commenced.”

“After reviewing the evidence and all other available evidence, the prosecutor … concluded the charge approval standard could no longer be met,” Dan McLaughlin, communications counsel for the B.C. Prosecution Service told CBC News in an email. 

McLaughlin said the Crown must assess whether there is a substantial likelihood of conviction and whether the public interest requires a prosecution, based on factors such as material evidence and the reliability of admissible evidence.

“In this case, the prosecutor concluded the test was no longer met and that a stay of proceedings was appropriate.”

If new evidence surfaces, a prosecution that has been stayed may be restarted within one year.

A third RCMP officer involved in the 2016 arrest is currently on trial in Prince George.

Const. Joshua Grafton is charged with assault, assault with a weapon, and obstruction of justice. 

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