News

Man sentenced for assaulting police officer

A PROVINCIAL court judge has closed off one portion of a complex relationship between a local man and the RCMP by giving him a conditional discharge.

Judge Christine Birnie found Shane Parker, 24, guilty of assaulting a police officer in August 2010, but if he meets a series of conditions over the next 12 months, he won’t have a criminal record.

Parker was also charged with resisting arrest but Birnie found that it was difficult to distinguish where the assault left off and resisting began.

The altercation between Parker and the RCMP took place outside of the Spirit Bar in downtown Terrace on Aug. 7, 2010.

The court heard that Parker saw police officers beside or on top of a person and that it was Parker’s intent to intervene and make sure that the person was all right.

But the court also heard that Constable Issac Couture told Parker to stay back at least four times and at least once said ‘stop police’.

Parker said he didn’t have to leave and slapped Couture’s arm, at which point he was taken to the ground and handcuffed and put into a police vehicle, the court heard.

“He agreed he saw himself as policing the police,” said Birnie of Parker’s actions in passing sentence on Parker Oct. 29.

Testimony heard by Birnie, however, showed how an earlier altercation between Parker and the Terrace RCMP also shaped the Aug. 7, 2010 events.

On June 19, 2010, just two months earlier, Terrace RCMP reported that a man began fighting police officers who were attempting to arrest a woman for public intoxication outside the Spirit Bar.

The man, Parker, was handcuffed, and taken to the RCMP detachment and was released with charges pending.

During his detainment, court heard, Parker had been punched, pepper sprayed, had a hood place over his head which prevents people from spitting on others, and tied to a chair.

The court heard that Parker, at one point, thought he was going to be killed in suffering a split lip, scrapes to his back, arm and face and a mild concussion.

Birnie said she did believe that Parker’s recollections of the June 19, 2010 events would contribute to him thinking the same would happen to him during the Aug. 7 altercation with RCMP officers.

“I do accept on June 19 he received injuries,” said Birnie.

She also said Parker genuinely, but mistakenly, believed he was going to be beaten again and so resisted arrest.

Although Terrace RCMP released Parker in June 2010 with every intention of having him charged, charges were never approved.

The events of June 19 have resulted in Parker filing a civil suit against a number of Terrace RCMP officers and in the filing of complaints about officer conduct with the police complaints commission.

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