Alberta man wants RCMP officer charged

A central Alberta man who saw his criminal charges stayed by an Alberta judge earlier this week wants an RCMP officer disciplined for an alleged attack two years ago.

Les Lattery, who lives east of Red Deer, said he was hit several times by an officer who responded to a disturbance at his home in the summer of 2009.

Lattery was charged with numerous offences in the incident but they were dropped Thursday when the judge ruled his charter rights had been breached. But Lattery still wants to see the officer held accountable for his actions.

"I don't want to tar and feather all the Mounties with the same brush. I mean it's one bad apple and I think he should be accountable for what he did," Lattery said. "If I punched somebody in the face, I would be charged with assault and I believe he should be too."

Judge E.D. Reimer stayed criminal charges Thursday against Latterty, who has one foot. The judge found RCMP Const. Jack Cunningham punched and stomped on Lattery during an arrest in July 2009.

Judge Reimer said the officer was "cruel" and used excessive force on Lattery and breached his charter rights by entering his property without permission.

According to court transcripts, Lattery was charged with assault, uttering a death threat, resisting arrest and assaulting a peace officer.

Lattery was among about 100 people attending a family gathering near Bashaw when he got into a dispute with a 12-year-old boy. The boy called police to complain. The situation escalated when officers arrived to investigate.

"It just got out of hand completely in a matter of seconds and just shocked everyone that was present," Lattery said. "I had probably at least 30 people here at the time so…just happy that the decision that was made and the reasons that the judge did it."

Lattery said the RCMP do not believe the officer did anything wrong, so he has taken his complaint to headquarters in Ottawa.

"The officer used excessive force by striking the accused in the face without justification," the judge said in his decision.

"I find that this treatment of the accused by the officer is cruel and unusual treatment."

Reimer ruled that the officer "was very angry and in a volatile condition" and because of that "this condition precluded him from acting in a reasonable fashion and resulted in a lack of awareness of what was occurring in his immediate vicinity."

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