Calgary officer charged for assaulting man after use-of-force investigation

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CALGARY — The Calgary Police Services says it has charged one of its officers with assaulting a man in custody.

Police allege the assault happened April 9, 2019, after a 20-minute pursuit of a stolen vehicle.

They say a male driver was arrested after fleeing from officers and attempting to ram police cruisers.

Police say after the man was handcuffed and on the ground, an officer who was not part of the initial arrest applied force "that was not required, necessary or reasonable as part of his duties."

Authorities say the officer was investigated after a standard review of the police pursuit flagged a concern.

Const. Benjamin Zampa, who has been with Calgary police for four years, is charged with one count of assault and has been assigned to administrative duties while his status on the force is reviewed.

"Criminal charges can be laid against officers in cases where the evidence supports it, but only after the Crown Prosecution Service has conducted a thorough review," Calgary police said in a statement Tuesday.

"When criminal charges are laid, the court process for those charges must conclude before any internal discipline or dismissal can be considered."

It also said that decisions about an officer’s status during the court and disciplinary process are based on factors such as risk to the public, procedural fairness and options available for modified duties.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 6, 2021

The Canadian Press