Edmonton police officer charged with assault in violent 2019 arrest of Indigenous man
EDMONTON -- Edmonton Police Service says one of its officers was charged with assault in connection with a video showing a violent 2019 arrest of an Indigenous man.
Const. Michael Partington was arrested and charged Tuesday in connection with the Aug. 27, 2019 incident in the area of 115 Avenue and 95 Street.
EPS says its Professional Standards Branch (PSB) conducted an in-depth investigation after receiving a video on Aug. 29, 2019.
"Upon completion of the investigation, PSB concluded that the level of force described in the police report was not consistent with the force observed in the video," EPS said.
The video was forwarded to Crown prosecutors at the end of March this year to determine if criminal charges were warranted.
CTV News has obtained the video, which appears to show a police officer using his knee to pin down a man during an arrest.
The man's anguished cries can be heard during the arrest, at one point yelling, "I didn't do anything" as he's subdued.
"Please stop!" the man yells repeatedly as officers pin him down.
Another police officer walking over from a parked vehicle drops his knee into the man's back, causing him to scream out in pain once again.
"Do not run from the police," one officer yells back. "Do you think I wouldn't catch you?"
"You ran away from me," one officer later says. "You didn't even confirm your name."
As the man is stood up to be taken to a nearby police vehicle, he asks the officers, "What is your problem?"
An officer then appears to strike him in the face, causing him to scream and fall to his knees.
A lawyer for the man seen being taken into custody confirms he is 33-year-old Indigenous man Elliot McLeod, who is charged with the February 2020 murder of Sheri Lynn Gauthier.
McLeod filed a personal complaint to PSB in March regarding the arrest.
Crown recommended a criminal charge against Partington last Friday.
EPS won't provide further details due to the matter being before the courts.
Partington is a four-year member of EPS, according to the department.
He has since been released with a notice to appear in court and has been removed from duty without pay.
The charges come at a tense time for police organizations across North America.
A widespread movement to "defund the police" was launched after video surfaced of a white Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, for nine minutes. Floyd become unresponsive and was later pronounced dead.
City council is currently reviewing local calls to reallocate police funds to social programs in a three-day hearing.
The arrest also comes after Alberta's police watchdog, ASIRT, launched an investigation into a video showing the violent arrest of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam.
None of the allegations against Partington have been tested or proven in court.