Crown seeks 90 days in jail for Edmonton police officer convicted of 2019 assault arrest
Crown prosecutors are seeking a jail sentence of between 60 and 90 days for an Edmonton police officer who assaulted an Indigenous man in a 2019 arrest.
A sentencing hearing for Const. Michael Partington began Wednesday morning at Alberta Provincial Court in Edmonton.
He was shown on video to drop his knee into the back of Elliot Houle, a suspect who was prone on the ground.
Const. Partington was found guilty after a five-day trial in August where Judge Peter Ayotte ruled the officer’s actions were “not only … unnecessary, but in the circumstances a gratuitous assault on an unresisting suspect.”
At trial, Partington claimed to be helping a fellow officer restrain the suspect and that his use of force was reasonable given the circumstances.
He has been suspended without pay since charges were laid in June 2020.
In addition to to the jail sentence, prosecutors argued Wednesday for a probation period of between 12 and 18 months that would include community service and anger management classes.
"Mr Houle was a vulnerable member of society at the time Constable Partington drove his knee in his back," said Crown prosecutor Carla MacPhail.
Defence lawyer Mike Danyluik is seeking a suspended sentence which would allow Partington to avoid a criminal record.
Ayotte has reserved his decision to a later date.
‘DIDN’T DO ANYTHING’
The incident happened Aug. 27, 2019, in the area of 115 Avenue and 95 Street.
Houle's anguished cries can be heard on video of the arrest, at one point yelling, "I didn't do anything," as he's subdued.
"Please stop!" he yells repeatedly as officers pin him down.
Another police officer walking over from a parked vehicle drops his knee into Houle's back, causing him to scream out in pain once again.
"Do not run from the police," an 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 Houle 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.
Partington has been an EPS officer for five years after a career in the Canadian military.