January 9, 2009
By ANDREW HANON, SUN MEDIA
A city cop who was acquitted of assault charges after using a stun gun on a teenager during a strip search faces an internal disciplinary hearing this spring.
Const. Todd Hudec pleaded not guilty to three counts of discreditable conduct and two of insubordination on Thursday. His hearing is scheduled for March 5 and 6.
Hudec is accused of using his Taser on a burglary suspect as punishment for lying. In 2006 a judge called the incident “so egregious” that she threw out the burglary and weapons charges against the 15-year-old because of Hudec’s “shocking abuse of police powers.”
Hudec was charged with assault, but acquitted in 2007. The judge in his trial said the cop’s actions were reasonable because the boy had previously lied about carrying hidden knives.
The case goes back to Dec. 24, 2003, when Hudec and another police officer arrested two teenaged burglary suspects. A 15-year-old boy, who cannot be identified because he was underage at the time, claimed he was unarmed. But when police searched him they found several knives. The teen claimed that later in the squad car, Hudec pulled out his Taser and said he was going to use it on him to teach him a lesson about lying. Hudec admitted to zapping the boy after a strip search at the North Division station, but said he did it because the youth became aggressive and advanced on him. The teen claims Hudec pinned him against a wall and said, “you’re lucky you’re only getting this in the thigh.”
Hudec is also accused of failing to get medical attention for the teen after zapping him and failing to properly document the incident.
Last week Chief Mike Boyd told Sun Media that he supported the appropriate use of Tasers. However, he said that he was “not confident with how the Taser was being used in Edmonton” prior to 2006 when he was appointed chief. He tightened up the department’s Taser-use policy, especially in regard to reporting incidents where they’ve been used. In two years, Boyd said, Taser use was reduced by 75% and complaints of misuse have dramatically declined.
“I totally support the use of Taser by officers certified to properly use it,” he said. “I think that it saves lives, saves personal injury to citizens and saves personal injury to police officers.”
WELCOME to TRUTH ... not TASERS
Friday, January 09, 2009
January 9, 2009