Sentencing hearing begins for former Calgary police officer who fractured man's skull during arrest

·3 min read
Daniel Haworth, left, had a fractured skull and brain injury after a violent arrest by Calgary police Const. Trevor Lindsay, right. (Left, Court exhibit/right, supplied - image credit)
Daniel Haworth, left, had a fractured skull and brain injury after a violent arrest by Calgary police Const. Trevor Lindsay, right. (Left, Court exhibit/right, supplied - image credit)

The sentencing hearing for a former Calgary police officer who fractured a man's skull during an arrest, causing a brain injury, began Monday, two years after his conviction and six years after the assault.

Trevor Lindsay was convicted of aggravated assault against Daniel Haworth in June 2019.

The man's brother testified during the trial that Haworth was never the same after the injuries. He died of a drug overdose months later.

Prosecutor John Baharustani told the judge much of the evidence at Lindsay's sentencing hearing will focus on another instance of the officer allegedly using excessive force against a handcuffed arrestee, Godfred Addai-Nyamekye.

A CPS helicopter caught the beating on video, which will be played as part of the sentencing hearing. As well, Addai-Nyamekye will be called to testify.

Assault on Haworth caught on video

On May 25, 2015, Haworth was arrested, suspected of breaking into his ex-girlfriend's home and stealing coins from her collection.

He was arrested by Lindsay and his partner and taken to the arrest processing unit (APU) where surveillance video captured what then took place in the parking lot.

There, Lindsay pulled the handcuffed Haworth out of the police cruiser and pressed him, face first, into the car.

Video shows Lindsay punching Haworth four times before swinging the handcuffed arrestee to the ground, head first.

When Lindsay testified in his own defence, he told the judge his actions were justified because after he had punched Haworth the first time, the victim tried to spit blood at him.

The officer said he felt an aggressive take-down was warranted.

Lindsay said he'd attempted a controlled takedown but lost his grip, and accidentally whipped Haworth to the pavement

In convicting Lindsay, Court of Queen's Bench Justice Michael Lema said the officer's use of force was "unnecessary and excessive." The judge added that aggressive measures were not warranted in the arrest.

Facing two internal disciplinary hearings at CPS, Lindsay quit the service in Sept. 2020.

Until his conviction, he'd been suspended with pay.

Godfred Addai-Nyamekye
Godfred Addai-Nyamekye(Lost Time Media)

Lindsay was first accused of using excessive force following the 2013 beating of a handcuffed Black man, Godfred Addai-Nyamekye.

Addai-Nyamekye had been issued a ticket for public intoxication. Another officer loaded Addai-Nyamekye into his police van and dropped him off on a city street far from home, in the dead of winter.

After Addai-Nyamekye called 911 for help, Lindsay showed up.

Police helicopter video shows Lindsay beating Addai-Nyamekye.

Although Addai-Nyamekye was charged with assaulting a peace officer, he was acquitted at trial after the judge rejected the officers' version of events, finding no evidence the accused struck either officer.

Video part of documentary

Addai-Nyamekye, who still suffers from chronic pain and PTSD related to the incident, filed a complaint against CPS after the attack.

Lindsay was to face a disciplinary hearing last fall but quit before it took place.

The assault on Addai-Nyamekye was part of a recently aired documentary focused on alleged brutality and accountability issues within the Calgary Police Service.

Above the Law, by filmmakers Marc Serpa Francoeur and Robinder Uppal, broadcast on CBC last summer. It is available online for free through CBC Gem.