OPP officer charged after jail cell incident

These are violations by the Ontario Provincial Police officers dealing with the Criminal Code of Canada, Controlled Substance and Abuse Act, Customs and Excise Act, etc.

OPP officer charged after jail cell incident

Postby Thomas » Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:41 am

An OPP officer in northwestern Ontario is facing a charge of assault causing bodily harm.

The charge follows an investigation by the province's Special Investigations Unit. The SIU says it was was called in after a 42-year-old man, Gary Lawrence Megan was injured last February. The SIU says Megan had been arrested and taken to the Greenstone detachment.

He was hurt, it says, during what the SIU calls an interaction in a cell in the OPP lockup. Megan was taken to hospital for treatment. Two weeks later, a CT scan determined he had sustained a serious injury to the eye area..

Constable Brian Bellefeuille has now been charged with assault causing bodily harm and with public mischief and will appear in court in Geraldton in August.

In the meantime, Bellefeuille has been suspended from duty.

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Greenstone OPP officer charged with assault

Postby Thomas » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:52 am

A Greenstone provincial police officer has been charged with assault causing bodily harm after a 42-year-old man suffered a serious eye-related injury earlier this year.

Ontario’s Special Investigation Unit laid the charged against the officer, in his early 30s, following “an interaction” between the accused officer and the alleged victim in a cell at the Greenstone OPP detachment in Geraldton on Feb. 11.

The 42-year-old victim was injured in the incident and taken to hospital. Two weeks later, said the SIU, “a CT scan determined he had sustained a serious injury to the eye area.”
In a news release about the incident, the SIU said the injured man had been arrested before the alleged incident, but did not say why.

In addition to the assault charge, the SIU also charged the accused officer with one count of public mischief.

The civilian-based SIU investigates when someone dies, has been seriously injured, or there are allegations of sexual assault while police are involved.

OPP Const. Brian Bellefeuille is to appear in Geraldton court Aug. 16.

http://www.chroniclejournal.com/content ... ed-assault
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OPP officer on trial for assault

Postby Thomas » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:04 pm

An OPP officer is standing trial in Thunder Bay on charges of assault after an investigation into injuries suffered by a 42-year-old First Nations man who was in police custody.

The complainant reported he had been punched by Constable Brian Bellefeuille while he was in his cell at the Greenstone OPP detachment in February of last year.

On Monday the prosecuter laid out the case, saying that Gary Megan was heading for a bar in a taxi when he gave the finger to a police officer.

Megan was arrested by the OPP several hours later for public intoxication.

The crown said he was handcuffed in a cell with his hands behind his back when Bellefeuille pushed him to the floor.

Bellefeuille has also been charged with public mischief for interfering in a police investigation.

The court heard from the doctor who treated Megan for broken bones in his eye-socket, as well as the OPP officer who was on the receiving end of Megan's rude gesture.

The trial is expected to wrap up Tuesday.

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OPP officer accused of assault will testify

Postby Thomas » Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:55 pm

Cst. Brian Bellefeuille accused of assaulting First Nations man in jail cell

A judge has ruled the trial of an OPP officer accused of assaulting a First Nations man in a Geraldton jail cell will continue Thursday, despite a defence argument for a directed verdict.

Cst. Brian Bellefeuille was charged with public mischief and assault causing bodily harm after an altercation with Gary Megan in an OPP cell on February 11, 2012.

Bellefeuille was acquitted on the public mischief charge on Tuesday.

Defence lawyer Andrew McKay also argued the Crown had not provided enough evidence that Bellefeuille had caused the injury to Megan and that a directed verdict should end the trial.

But this morning Justice F.A. Sargent ruled the proceedings would continue.

McKay told the court he expects to call a civilian jail guard, as well as Bellefeuille, to the stand tomorrow.

Trial took twist
The judge's decision followed a statement of opinion he made about the tough job faced by police officers.

At the time, the Crown had been arguing Gary Megan was unlawfully arrested when police found him drunk outside Geraldton's only bar.

Lawyer Andrew Capell said police could have given Megan a ride home, as they've done with other intoxicated people.

But in the middle of the trial, Justice Sargent asked Capell to consider another case involving a First Nations man who died in a Kenora police cell.

He too was picked up by police for public intoxication.

"We must consider what police officers have to do when temperatures are minus-20," Sargent said. "Was it improper or would it have been improper to let him walk home and freeze to death?"

The defence then asked the judge to rule the Crown had not provided sufficient evidence and is asked the judge for a “directed verdict” that would end the trial.

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Motion for directed verdict denied in case against OPP offic

Postby Thomas » Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:27 pm

The motion for a directed verdict in the case against an OPP officer accused of assault was denied Wednesday morning.

Const. Brian Bellefeuille was charged with assault causing bodily harm in connection with an incident where an Aroland First Nation man was hurt in a holding cell in an OPP detachment office in Geraldton last February.

Gary Megan, 43, testified Tuesday at the Ontario Court of Justice that he suffered multiple fractures and a cracked cheekbone after he was arrested in February 2012.

The defense asked for a directed verdict to dismiss the charges against Bellefeuille on Tuesday on the basis there wasn’t enough evidence.

After hearing arguments from the defense and Crown, Justice F.A. Sargent said while he believes the injuries to the accused were a result of the alleged takedown, the intent of the accused is for a trial court decision.

The defense will begin their case Thursday.

http://www.tbnewswatch.com/news/273197/ ... PP-officer
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OPP officer 'feels terrible' for injury to First Nations man

Postby Thomas » Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:28 pm

'I had to take him to the ground', Const. Brian Bellefeuille testifies

An OPP officer says the First Nations man he’s accused of assaulting would have faced certain death if he wasn’t arrested last Februrary.

Const. Brian Bellefeuille testified Friday in his own defence at his trial on charges of assaulting Gary Megan, from Aroland First Nation.

Gary Megan was in court Friday to watch testimony from the OPP officer that is charged with assaulting him. (Jody Porter/CBC)
The charges relate to an altercation in a Geraldton OPP jail cell on February 11, 2012, where Megan was thrown to the ground by Bellefeuille. Megan suffered a cut to his eyebrow and was later diagnosed with broken bones around his eye socket.

The Crown has argued Megan should have never been arrested that night.

But Bellefeuille said he charged Megan with public intoxication for his own safety, after he found the 42-year-old outside Geraldton’s only bar at closing time.

‘I thought he was going to die’

"I want to make sure he gets home safe," Bellefeuille testified as he watched surveillance video of the two interacting outside the bar that night.

He said he believed Megan would attempt to walk home to Aroland First Nation, about 50 km away, in an intoxicated state, in freezing temperatures.

"I thought he was going to die," Bellefeuille said explaining why he arrested Megan for public intoxication. "He’s thinking he’s walking to Aroland -- it’s a death sentence."

Megan had testified earlier that he attempted to give police an address where he was staying in Geraldton, but Bellefeuille said he believed that was a ploy to get out of being arrested.

Bellefeuille said the fact that Megan had given a police officer ‘the finger’ earlier that day was "police information" shared among officers but it did not influence his decision to arrest Megan.

Officer feared for his own safety

At the police station, Bellefeuille said Megan, with hands cuffed behind his back, "violently thrusted his body" to release Bellefeuille’s grip on him.

"He seems angry," Bellefeuille said. "I’m not sure what he’s going to do."

Like other witnesses, Bellefeuille was shown the jail cell recording from that night.

"He’s yelling at me, angry, he’s starting to turn," Bellefeuille said as the video showed Megan turn to face him, before being pinned to the wall. "I could almost feel his breath on my face."

Megan still had his hands cuffed behind his back as he was pinned to the wall by Bellefeuille and another police officer in the cell. Bellefeuille said that’s when Megan started to turn again.

'My mother is First Nations, as well. I don’t want to have that reputation in the community.'
—Const. Brian Bellefeuille
"I was concerned for my safety and that of Const. Wilson," Bellefeuille said. "We are taught how to ground someone, to take them to the ground to eliminate a threat."

Bellefeuille said he used his military training (he served in Afghanistan with the Canadian Forces) to identify that Megan was in "pre-attack" mode.

"He can hit me, he can kick me, he can bite me," Bellefeuille said of the threat Megan posed. "This is where I put him to the ground. I take Mr. Megan to the ground to stop an assault. I’m trying to control him."

Blood on the floor

The courtroom was crowded again on Thursday with several prominent First Nations leaders among about 50 people in attendance, including all three deputy grand chiefs from the Nishnawbe Aski Nation and the Assembly of First Nation’s Ontario Regional Chief.

One spectator gasped and whispered, "look at the blood" as the jail cell video showed a dark patch on the floor where Megan’s head hit.

Bellefeuille said he attempted to break Megan’s fall.

"I’m attempting to control the fall," Bellefeuille said. "All I want to do is maintain control and not be assaulted."

Once the video was over, Bellefeuille expressed contrition.

"I still feel terrible that it happened," Bellefeuille said. "[Geraldton] is a small town, you certainly don’t want to have a name for that. My mother is First Nations, as well. I don’t want to have that reputation in the community. I didn’t want to injure Mr. Megan. It’s certainly an unfortunate circumstance."

Bellefeuille will be cross examined when court resumes on Monday.

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Judge, Crown clash in OPP officer's trial

Postby Thomas » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:53 am

"If you want to have a nice talk with the Court of Appeal, you go ahead sir," judge tells Crown

OPP Const. Brian Bellefeuille's character is an essential element in his trial for assault on a First Nations man, according to arguments made by the Crown attorney in court on Monday.

Bellefeuille was charged after an altercation with Gary Megan in a Geraldton jail cell last February. Megan suffered a head injury.

"His credibility is the issue in this case," Andrew Cappell told Justice F.A. Sargent in requesting permission to ask Bellefeuille about his reputation.

But the judge disagreed.

"He hasn't put his reputation at issue," Justice Sargent said to Cappell. "And if you want to have a nice talk with the Court of Appeal appeal, you go ahead, sir."

It was one of many heated interactions between Cappell and Sargent in a full day of testimony.

Sargent cut off Cappell's questioning of Bellefeuille about the reasons the officer arrested Megan for public intoxication outside the bar in Geraldton.

"My grounds for arrest were safety," Bellefeuille said, explaining he was worried that Megan was planning to walk more than 50 km home to Aroland First Nation. "I can't gamble with this stuff. I'd already be in jail for neglect of duty."

When Cappell attempted to question Bellefeuille about his belief Megan would walk home, the judge sided with a defence objection.

"So, I'm not allowed to ask more questions about this?" Cappell asked, throwing up his hands.

"That is exactly right," Sargent said.

Cappell also sparred with Bellefeuille, having difficulty getting him to agree with him on anything.

"There can only be one true version of a story, right?" Cappell asked at one point.

"That's kind of a loaded question," Bellefeuille responded.

Like many witnesses, Bellefeuille was shown a surveillance video from the bar on the night of the arrest. Notes he took in his police notebook indicate that Megan required assistance to get to the cruiser after Bellefeuille arrested him. But Megan walks on his own in the video.

"Was [the mistake in the notebook] an attempt to make it look like Mr. Megan was more intoxicated than he was?" Cappell asked Bellefeuille.

"It was an oversight," Bellefeuille said. "I don't lie."

The judge also issued his opinion that he doesn't believe Megan's arrest was 'targeted'. Cappell is attempting to link it to an incident earlier that day when Megan made an obscene gesture to another OPP officer.

"I just don't buy it," Sargent said.

Bellefeuille will be on the stand again on Tuesday. That's when the Crown expects to finish the cross-examination. Both lawyers said they're prepared to make closing submissions in the case as well on Tuesday.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-b ... by-be.html
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Final arguments made in OPP officer trial

Postby Thomas » Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:57 pm

Proscutor Andrew Cappell finishes cross-examination of OPP officer Brian Bellefeuille

Final arguments were being made in a Thunder Bay courtroom Tuesday in the trial of an OPP officer charged with assaulting a First Nations man.

But first, crown prosecutor Andrew Cappell wrapped up his cross-examination of Constable Brain Bellefeuille, who was charged after an altercation with Gary Megan in a Geraldton jail cell in February, 2012. During the incident Megan suffered a head injury.

Dozens of people crowded into the darkened courtroom to watch a video of the incident.

A handcuffed Megan could be seen being brought into the cell by Bellefeuille, his hands on his back.

Megan was in custody for his own safety because, Bellefeuille said, he was so intoxicated he couldn't care for himself. Seconds into the video, Megan turned to face Bellefeuille with an angry look on his face.


'Here we go'

Bellefeuille said, at this point, he believed Megan was going to attack him and the other officer in the cell.

Seconds later, Megan was pinned against the cell wall and put to the ground.

"I'd suggest to you it's never appropriate to ground someone who is cuffed to the rear," Cappell said.

To which Bellefeuille said: "I completely disagree. I believe this was the least-force option to control this man".

As Bellefeuille watched the video of the takedown, frame-by-frame, in cross examination, he noted a jail cell is a dangerous place to be.

“It's a small space, concrete everywhere,” he said. “I figured, here we go.”

Bellefeuille said he thought Megan was “going to try to kill me … he [was] going to try to fight us.”

But Megan was in custody for safety, Cappell said. “Why not just step back and close the cell door, saying ‘see you later, sleep it off'.”

Bellefeuille responded that “everyone has a handcuff key … what if he gets the cuffs off and harms himself or another officer?”

Cappell countered, “you have an unruly drunk, what is the harm of closing the cell on him?”


'Certainly grave doubt'

Defence lawyer Andrew McKay, who regularly defends police officers facing charges, was the first to present his final arguments.

He said there is absolutely no evidence to support the Crown's theory that Megan giving the finger to police prompted his arrest and injury later.

McKay praised Dr. Edward Hargassner's testimony as “honest and truthful.” He addressed the doctor's uncertainty and reminded the court the doctor said Megan told him he had been punched in the eye once in the cell.

“[There’s] certainly grave doubt” about the cause of broken bones in Megan's face, given the doctor's testimony,” McKay said.

Gary Megan “tried his best to give his evidence,” McKay noted, adding it was “somewhat comical” when Megan admitted to additional charges not on his criminal record.

McKay said Megan agreed with him that “the consumption of alcohol clouds his memory” and he's not sure how he was injured.


'Crucial piece of evidence'

The defence lawyer noted it's a “crucial piece of evidence” that officers were afraid to let Megan walk away from the bar for fear he would freeze.

“If they really wanted to get Mr. Megan, they would have let him walk home to Aroland [First Nation]. That would have got Mr. Megan.”

McKay also called guard Warren Kerr's evidence “honest, forthright, sincere, and unwavering, despite rigorous cross-examination.”

He pointed out Kerr recalled Bellefeuille saying “please comply, Gary” to Megan, who was resisting.

McKay said it's a crucial piece of evidence that Kerr said Bellefeuille tried to “ease (Megan) down” during the takedown.

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OPP officer awaits May 3 verdict in assault trial

Postby Thomas » Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:55 am

OPP officer Brian Bellefeuille is charged with assault of a First Nations man in Geraldton jail cell

It will be more than two weeks before a judge makes a decision in the case of a Greenstone OPP officer charged with assaulting a First Nations man in February of 2012.

In a Thunder Bay court on Wednesday, Crown attorney Andrew Cappell said Constable Brian Bellefeuille’ version of events on the night of the alleged assault was "minimizing, fanciful, self-serving and not at all credible."

During his final arguments to the court, Cappell said Gary Megan was one of only two people arrested for public intoxication outside Geraldton's bar during a two-year period. Cappell said it was no coincidence that the arrest occurred just hours after Megan had "given the finger" to another officer.

It wasn’t “believable” Bellefeuille thought it was “no big deal” Megan gave another officer the finger, Cappell said.

“Then, lo and behold, it turns out Mr. Megan is the focus of police attentions” later that night, Cappell said, adding that it made no sense Bellefeuille testified to have believed Megan had a weapon, but didn't search him immediately.

Megan was in officer’s ‘bad books’

During a court recess, Bellefeuille was heard thanking Cappell in the hallway for agreeing to an earlier date for the court decision.

“No problem man,” Cappell responded. “I know it's been rough between us, but I don't want you sitting around waiting.”

Back in court, Cappell asked why police accepted the idea Megan would walk back home to Aroland First Nation, but assumed that he was lying about staying in Geraldton.

Cappell noted that, even if the arrest wasn't targeted, police did not satisfy reasonable grounds for arrest for public intoxication. If the arrest wasn't legal, Cappell said, then any application of force constitutes an assault.

But he said, even if the judge rules the arrest was lawful, legal precedent shows the onus is on police officers to prove excessive force was not used.

Megan was already in Bellefeuille's “bad books,” so when Megan walked into the cell, "it was not going to take much to set him [Bellefeuille] off", Cappell said.

"Slamming Mr. Megan's head into the floor was not reasonable.”

Defence lawyer Andrew McKay gave a brief response to Cappell's arguments saying the Crown had unfairly characterized Bellefeuille's evidence.

McKay said giving Megan toilet paper and water when he was bleeding in the cell was “very reasonable,” and that the injury in the jail cell was “an unfortunate incident in relation to Mr. Megan's bad behaviour.”

Final arguments were complete and the court was told a decision could be expected on May 3.

Cappell hugged Megan as court was adjourned.

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OPP officer found not guilty of assault

Postby Thomas » Sat May 04, 2013 3:42 am

Const. Brian Bellefeuille was charged with assault after an altercation with a First Nations man

A judge has acquitted an OPP officer on a charge of assault.

Justice F.A. Sargent delivered his ruling Friday morning in the case of Constable Brian Bellefeuille.

Bellefeuille was charged after an altercation with Gary Megan in the OPP lock-up in February 2011.

During the trial the court was repeatedly shown a video recording of the incident. It shows Megan, with hands cuffed behind his back, being put to the floor by Bellefeuille.

The Crown attorney argued that police unlawfully arrested Megan for public intoxication and furthermore that Bellefeuille used excessive force in 'throwing' Megan to the ground in the cell.

Bellefeuille testified that he felt Megan was about to attack him and that he guided Megan to the floor to eliminate the threat.

Megan's eyebrow was cut open in the fall and he suffered other scrapes and bruises to his face.

Regardless of the court ruling, Bellefeuille still faces charges related to the incident under the Police Services Act.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-b ... s-man.html
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First Nation 'devastated' by court ruling

Postby Thomas » Sat May 04, 2013 3:44 am

"Justice failed us," chief says after OPP officer found not guilty of assault on First Nations man

Chief Sonny Gagnon of Aroland First Nation said people from his community feel betrayed after a court ruling in Thunder Bay on Friday.

Justice F.A. Sargent found an OPP officer not guilty of assault on a man from Aroland First Nation.

Constable Brian Bellefeuille was charged after an altercartion with Gary Megan in a Geraldton OPP jail cell.

A video tape of Bellefeuille pinning a handcuffed Megan to the wall, then putting him to the ground, was repeatedly shown during the trial.

"The video it showed...when he [Megan] got to the cell, I didn't see no resistance," Gagnon said outside the court house on Friday. "So what was the police fearing? There's three of them and one very, very intoxicated person that wouldn't harm anything.

"Why the take down in the cell when they could have just put him in the cell, locked the door and let him sober up."

Judge said takedown meant to subdue, not injure

Megan had been arrested for public intoxication outside Geraldton's only bar. During the trial the Crown had argued the arrest was unlawful, but the judge said that argument was "weak in the extreme."

"It was totally prudent to take him into custody," Justice Sargent said, reading his written decision to a court room packed with Aroland residents. "The court can appreciate the criticism police would have faced... if he had frozen to death."

'There is no justice'
—Chief Sonny Gagnon

Justice Sargent said there was reasonable doubt that the fall to the floor had caused the broken bones in Megan's cheek and around his eye since X-rays weren't taken until several days after the incident. The judge said that left only the laceration above Megan's eye as the bodily harm caused by Bellefeuille's actions.

"The take-down or grounding was not designed to injure but subdue," Justice Sargent said, adding in his view of the video he could see Bellefeuille's arm underneath Megan as he was going down "in an effort to cushion the fall."

Crown considering an appeal

It's a view people outside the courtroom didn't share.

"For someone to do that to a person that is so drunk and claim that they took him out of care....where was the protection?" Grace Bottle asked. "That's why it's so frustrating to me. I just don't understand that decision.

Gagnon said people from Aroland are "devastated" by the ruling.

"Right now we don't feel there is no justice," he said. "I know the law failed us."

Gagnon said the Crown is considering an appeal.

But Aroland's Patricia Magiskan said this case adds to the general mistrust First Nations people have of the police.

"This is another example of something that we have to turn around and fix, fix up those relations [between police and First Nations]," Magiskan said. "How can that be done when we have a police officer found not guilty of what I know is assault."

Bellefeuille satisfied with ruling

For his part, Bellefeuille's lawyer said his client is satisfied with the decision, after a long trial.

"It creates a great deal of stress and emotional toll," Andrew McKay said. "He [Bellefeuille] is a strong individual, he's done very, very well."

Bellefeuille still faces police services act charges relating to the incident.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-b ... uilty.html
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Charges dismissed

Postby Thomas » Sat May 04, 2013 11:42 am

After assault charges against an OPP officer were dismissed Friday, the chief of Aroland First Nation says the law has failed his people.

Greenstone area OPP Const. Brian Bellefeuille was charged with assault causing bodily harm after a Feb. 11, 2012 incident where 43-year-old Gary Megan was injured in a jail cell.

Megan testified in April that he suffered multiple fractures and a cracked cheekbone after he was arrested for public intoxication.

It was alleged that Bellefeuille pushed Megan to the ground in his cell while handcuffed and that’s when Megan sustained the injuries to his face. He also received a laceration above his left eye.

The Crown had argued that the arrest was unlawful, that police targeted Megan after he had given another OPP officer the finger a few hours earlier.

Bellefeuille’s lawyer said the police were worried Megan would try to walk home, possibly from Geraldton to Aroland and it was a cold night.

Justice F.A. Sargent ruled the arrest lawful and said it was “totally prudent to take (Megan) into custody” and the evidence presented to suggest the arrest was unlawful was “weak in the extreme.”

“It would be dangerous to accept,” the judge said.

There also was a real danger of Megan freezing to death, the judge added.

Sargent said based on the testimony of the doctor that treated Megan’s injuries, he had “grave doubts about the origins of the fractures.”

The court found that the takedown in the cell can be seen as overly aggressive. However, the judge said it was not designed to injure, but to subdue Megan and that Bellefeuille acted reasonably.

Gagnon said his community members are devastated by the verdict.

“All I need to say right now is when they say a picture speaks 1,000 words, it doesn’t,” he said outside the provincial courthouse Friday morning.

“Our people saw the tape of the takedown. To us, it’s a little too aggressive,” the chief said.

The courtroom was packed with Aroland members Friday morning to hear the verdict.

Gagnon said so many people came out to show the community is united.

“When one gets hurt, we all support each other,” he said.

Gagnon said he’s spoken to the Crown about a possible appeal and Megan is considering civil action. The community will meet next week and decide what they will do next.

Bellefeuille’s lawyer Andrew McKay said they are satisfied and happy with the verdict.

“It's what we expected. Const. Bellefeuille is anxious to get back to work. It was evident he had no intention of hurting Mr. Megan,” he said.

http://www.tbnewswatch.com/news/277494/ ... -dismissed
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OPP officer cleared of assault charge

Postby Thomas » Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:04 am

OPP officer cleared of assault charge stemming from incident with Aroland First Nation man

OPP officer cleared of assault charge stemming from incident with Aroland First Nation man

An Ontario judge also found OPP Const. Brian Bellefeuille not guilty of public mischief.

The charges stemmed from an investigation by the Special Investigations Unit( SIU).

Gary Megan, who alleged he was manhandled by the officer, said still wants to see justice done.

“I want him to be held accountable for him slamming me to the floor for no good reason,” said Megan after the verdict came down May 3.

“I was grounded to the cement floor of jail cell while my hands were handcuffed behind my back,” he said.

Megan also does not want anyone else to go through what he did.

Megan, 42, was arrested for public intoxication outside The Blue Lagoon bar in Geralton, Ont., as he was waiting for a cab home.

Megan was injured and had to be taken to hospital.

Megan testified in court that “he was knocked out.”

Megan had to return to the hospital a second time where he had to get a CT scan and it was discovered he had a serious injury to his face and bone around his eye.

“The next day my eye is swollen shut, my face is purple and my eye and my cheekbone is cracked,” Megan said.

Megan said this incident has really affected him. Now, if he sees a police officer, he will wait unit the officer leaves before he gets out of his vehicle.

“I will never feel the same towards cops, I am scared for my wife and kids now too. I almost feel like they will be targeted now as a result of complaining to the SIU,” he said.

Megan said he thinks the incident stems from an obscene gesture he gave to another officer.

During the April 8 trial Bellefeuille, who pleaded not guilty, defended his actions saying Megan resisted arrest.

“He absolutely did not resist arrest,” said his wife Delia Okees.

She also said there is video to prove this.

Megan is from the Aroland First Nation in northern Ontario.

Aroland First Nation Chief Sonny Gagnon said he’s not happy with the outcome.

“I am appalled by this matter. Our First Nation has major concerns about what happens when First Nations people call 911 for help,” he said.

The SIU is the agency that probes incidents involving police where serious allegations against them are called.

Gagnon is calling for a system-wide review of police services because of the rising number of serious complaints in Northern Ontario.

The OPP has confirmed to APTN National News that constable Bellefeuille had been suspended, with pay. It is likely he will be reinstated to his duties now that he has not been found guilty of the charges against him.

http://aptn.ca/news/2013/05/07/opp-offi ... ation-man/
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Court orders new trial for OPP officer acquitted of assault

Postby Thomas » Wed Apr 08, 2015 6:10 am

Court orders new trial for OPP officer acquitted of assault on First Nations man

The Ontario Superior Court has ordered a new trial in the case of an Aroland First Nation man who was thrown to the floor of a Greenstone, Ont., jail cell with his hands cuffed behind his back during an altercation with an OPP officer in 2012.

Const. Brian Bellefeuille was found not guilty in 2013 of assaulting Gary Megan.

The Crown appealed the decision and on April 7, Justice Terrence Platana ordered a new trial.

Platana ruled that..."a reasonable person would find that apprehension of bias was created by the judge's comments..."

That perception of bias was created at the trail during arguments about whether Megan had been lawfully arrested outside a Geraldton bar.

Bellefeuille told the court that Megan was so drunk that he was taken into custody for his own safety.

The Crown argued that police had other options for dealing with concerns about Megan's safety and suggested the police were targeting Megan because he had made an obscene gesture at a police car earlier that day.

Trial Judge Frank Sargent appeared reluctant to hear that argument, citing previous cases of First Nations people who had frozen to death; quoting headlines of articles about drunk people dying of hypothermia and asking the Crown ..."would it have been proper to let him walk, attempt to walk and freeze to death on the side of the road? I just want you to consider that."

The Crown referred to four other grounds for appeal in the case, but having ordered a new trial on the issue of bias, Justice Platana said it was unnecessary to determine the other issues. Platana then went on to say the trial judge made an error in not allowing cross-examination of Bellefeuille about his character.

By telling the court "I do not lie" and that he did not want a reputation for police brutality in the First Nations community which he belonged to through his mother, Platana said Bellefeuille put his own character up for scrutiny.

Bellefeuille has 30 days from the date of the ruling to appeal. If he doesn't appeal, the court will be set for a new trial.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-b ... -1.3023965

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OPP officer found not guilty of assault after First Nation m

Postby Thomas » Thu May 12, 2016 3:59 pm

OPP officer found not guilty of assault after First Nation man injured in jail cell

Throwing intoxicated, handcuffed man to floor of cell was 'necessary, reasonable,' judge rules

A provincial police officer has been found not guilty of assault, for a second time, after a 2012 altercation in a Greenstone, Ont., jail cell left a First Nation man with broken bones in his face.

A second trial was ordered after the crown appealed the 2013 finding of not guilty in the case against Cst. Brian Bellefeuille.

On Wednesday a judge ruled that Bellefeuille was credible in his description of being "terrified" that he would be spit at, bitten or kicked while attempting to search an intoxicated man who had his hands cuffed behind his back.

Throwing Gary Megan to the cement floor of the cell was "necessary, reasonable and proportional" to the threat he posed, Justice Marietta L. D. Roberts ruled.

Another officer was in the cell at the time. He gave evidence that he did not perceive an "imminent threat" from Megan, whom police said they took into custody outside a bar "for his own safety" because he was too intoxicated to get home on his own.

Megan suffered a cut to his eyebrow and several broken bones around his eye socket after being thrown to the floor.

"Things like this shouldn't be happening," said Dorothy Towedo, the chief of Aroland First Nation, Megan's home community. "He was defenseless. He was handcuffed. What could he do?"

Towedo said she is "disturbed" by the not guilty verdict and that it continues a "racist" pattern within the justice system.

"It just seems hopeless," she said. "It's just going to keep happening. [Police] will say "I can get away with it."

At the end of the hearing Justice Roberts asked Bellefeuille to stand and told him that he had caused "great injury" to Megan who "had suffered much".

"There may be other consequences for you and other officers," she told him. "Take that to heart."

Bellefeuille told CBC News he was glad the case was finally over because his family "was going through a lot" and that he hoped to "repair the relationship" with Aroland First Nation, perhaps with a healing circle.

"I don't want a bad taste to be left," he said.

Towedo said her First Nation members are still too upset to consider such a thing.

"The trust is not there," she said.

The Crown said it is considering whether to appeal the verdict.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-b ... -1.3577766
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