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Friday, December 26, 2008

Edmonton police taser use called unwarranted

December 26, 2008
Edmonton Journal

A man Tasered during a 2004 arrest in the midst of a parking-lot brawl in Edmonton did nothing to warrant such force, a police disciplinary hearing was told this week.

Insp. Neil Dubord, the presenting officer in the case, told the hearing Wednesday that officers "had physical control of Mr. Boik and he was no threat of a flight risk."

Boik claims he was Tasered by Const. Andrew Hoglund after he was handcuffed, an assertion that has been contradicted by other officers' testimony.

Hoglund is accused of unnecessary use of force. He also faces a charge of failing to file a report on the incident, to which he has pleaded guilty.

In previous testimony, Hoglund said his memory of the incident four years ago was "foggy." He told his hearing he doesn't specifically recall Tasering Boik, but admits it must have been him.

Staff Sgt. Bill Newton, who advocated for Hoglund, criticized the length of the investigation, saying it led to poor memories and contradicting testimony. "This was a confusing and con-founding incident that happened four years ago," Newton said. "This is another example of the profound effect that protracted investigations have."

A decision on the matter is expected Feb. 19.

In Hoglund's case, around 25 officers converged on a bar because a fight had broken out in the parking lot.

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