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Two Abbotsford cops to face public hearing

A still taken from a YouTube video shows an Abbotsford police officer during an arrest in October 2009. -
A still taken from a YouTube video shows an Abbotsford police officer during an arrest in October 2009.
— image credit:

A public hearing has been ordered into the conduct of two Abbotsford Police officers who became the subject of a YouTube video while they were making an arrest on Oct. 9, 2009.

The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC) issued notice on Friday of the public hearing for Const. Doug Lemna and Const. Daryle Young. A hearing date and location have not yet been set.

The two officers were carrying out a foot patrol in Ravine Park in Abbotsford when they witnessed what appeared to be a drug transaction in a driveway across the street. Two suspects were ordered to the ground.

Lemna, who was an acting sergeant at the time, applied force to the head and body of one of them, the notice states.

It also states that Young stepped on the back of the same suspect’s knees, and also applied force with his knee onto the man’s lower back.

The Abbotsford Police Department conducted an internal investigation into the matter and issued its ruling on Dec. 15.

Chief Bob Rich concluded that the allegation of abuse of authority by Lemna was not substantiated.

He concluded that one allegation of the use of unnecessary force was substantiated in relation to Young.

Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald said disciplinary action cannot be issued until the OPCC hearing is concluded.

"They are the overseeing body," he said.

Police complaint commissioner Stan Lowe stated in the notice, after reviewing the investigation and the conclusions, that a public hearing was necessary to "preserve or restore public confidence in the investigation of misconduct and the administration of police discipline."

In addition to the public hearing, Lemna was charged last March with assault in relation to a different incident. That matter is still before the courts.

Another Abbotsford police officer, Const. Alex Wood, faces a public hearing this week. The matter is scheduled to run from Wednesday to Friday at the Robson Square Courthouse.

The hearing will consider whether Wood used excessive force when confiscating a digital camera in April 2008. Abbotsford resident Jonathan Peters accused Wood of breaking his finger while seizing his camera.

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