Hearing determines that Abbotsford officer lied

An adjudicator with the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC) has ruled that an Abbotsford Police officer lied about the circumstances surrounding the assault of a shoplifting suspect in 2009.

Disciplinary action against Const. Adam Page will be considered at a later date.

The OPCC held a public hearing into the matter on Feb. 18 and 19 in Vancouver.

Page previously faced a criminal assault charge, to which he pleaded guilty in April 2012. He received one year probation and a conditional discharge, meaning he will have no criminal record if he has met all his conditions by the end of his probation.

During his sentencing hearing, the court heard that Page pushed a handcuffed shoplifting suspect into a wall hard enough to leave a dent during an arrest on Sept. 20, 2009 at the London Drugs store in West Oaks Mall.

The OPCC hearing was held to determine whether Page lied in official written and oral statements following the incident.

The decision released Monday states that Page told investigators that he had stepped on the suspect's right calf and ankle, lost his balance, and fell forward into the man, pushing him into the wall.

But a recording of the incident shows otherwise, stated adjudicator Ian Pitfield.

"Both the duty report and Const. Page's statements in the course of the interview are so seriously contradicted by the audio-visual recording of the officer's conduct and actions that they have to be seen as unbelievable. Nothing but intent to mislead can explain the contradictions."

Page testified that he was under stress at the time, due to work-related and personal issues, and his judgment might have been adversely affected when the incident occurred.

But Pitfield found that Page "knew that his description of the incident as it unfolded was false or misleading."

Page now faces disciplinary action for both the assault and the deceit. This could include a reprimand, retraining, a demotion in rank, or even dismissal.

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