The contentious case of a Regina police officer kick-pushing a man in 2012 has been batted back and forth through courts, and to either side of guilt, but it has finally come to rest.
On Thursday the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear Robert Power’s appeal of his assault conviction.
Power is the officer who was found to have used excessive force in 2012 when he kick-pushed Edward Stonechild in front of a detox centre in Regina, causing Stonechild to hit his head. Power testified he was defending himself.
The summary from the supreme court stated the appeal was based on several factors:
- “Is the fact that a police officer acts in accordance with their training relevant to the issue of the objective assessment of the reasonableness of their use of force”
- “What degree of deference should be afforded to a trial judge in his assessment of a videotape of the incident in question when a summary appeal judge is in as good a position to review and assess the videotape as the trial judge”
- “Did the majority of the Court of Appeal err in principle when it said the question was if ‘it was necessary’ for the police officer to use the push-kick, or is the issue whether the officer used as much force as was necessary as set out in section 25(1) of the Criminal Code”
As the supreme court has declined to hear the case, the decision of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal will stand.
Power was originally released from duty with Regina police, but in 2014 he was reinstated. This decision likely won’t affect his employment for the same reason the police explained when the Court of Appeal decision came down, the hearing officer for the police board stated a conviction wouldn’t warrant a dismissal.
Below is a video of the encounter, released to the public in March 2015