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Friday, February 20, 2009

Taser-firing city police officer went too far

February 20, 2009

Const. Andrew Hoglund was out of line when he Tasered a university student under arrest, a disciplinary hearing ruled.

Presiding officer Supt. Mark Logar ruled yesterday Hoglund lacked lawful or reasonable cause to zap Robert Boik outside the Globe bar near 109 Street and Jasper Avenue at closing time Sept. 4, 2004.

"Const. Hoglund's use of the Taser was not appropriate or necessary," Logar said.

"He used more force than necessary."

The disciplinary hearing heard Hoglund deployed his Taser gun as two other constables were arresting Boik about 2 a.m.

Boik's pal, who had just been in a scuffle with a group of men, was also arrested.

As the pair of cops cuffed Boik, a third constable emerged, zapping the suspect before trotting off into the night.

Hoglund failed to document the use of force, a move that presenting officer Insp. Shane Loxterkamp blasted him for.

"This is a very serious incident," Loxterkamp told the hearing.

"There were no notes. An officer's notes are truly the lifeblood of an investigation."

Loxterkamp also slammed Hoglund for using a Taser without good reason.

That was an opinion Logar sided with when he sentenced Hoglund to a 35-hour suspension without pay.

"That is the appropriate punishment," Logar said. "He, in essence, created the misfortune for himself."

Following the hearing, Boik, the 28-year-old victim, said he was relieved to see the matter brought to its conclusion.

But he said he found the sentence a bit light.

"In a lot of other professions, if you assault someone, you'd lose your job," Boik said. "And in this profession, you get suspended for 35 hours.

"It's absolutely outrageous and ridiculous I was Tasered." Boik said.

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