Terrace RCMP officer’s sentencing on assault charge delayed

Const. Bruce Lofroth who pleaded guilty earlier this year to assaulting a youth he was arresting in May 2014.

  • Oct. 21, 2016 7:00 p.m.
STILL image of video taken of May 28

STILL image of video taken of May 28

A provincial court judge has reserved his decision on the sentencing of a Terrace RCMP officer who earlier pleaded guilty to assaulting a youth.

Defence and prosecution lawyers submitted their sentencing suggestions to judge Ed de Walle today in Terrace provincial court in the case of Const. Bruce Lofroth, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to assaulting a youth he was arresting in May 2014.

Lofroth was charged Feb. 25 after the Independent Investigations Office of BC looked at the evidence and determined an assault may have happened and forwarded its report to Crown prosecutors to make the decision of whether to lay charges.

The Crown prosecutor submitted to Judge Ed de Walle that the defence’s submission of a conditional discharge as a sentence wasn’t appropriate because it would not follow the two main factors of sentencing: denunciation of what happened and deterrence of others from doing something similar in future.

Defence lawyer Brad Smith said a conditional discharge was appropriate because Lofroth had been provoked to hit the victim because the victim had punched him earlier without notice, resulting in a split lip for Lofroth.

De Walle wanted to consider all the submissions and make a decision to be released at a later date.

The assault took place when Lofroth and another officer responded to a 911 call of an altercation May 28, 2014 between a man and a woman taking place on the sidewalk of the 4700 Block of Lazelle Ave.

An investigation was begun after a video taken of the incident emerged that fall.

It shows an officer physically restraining a male person who was on the ground in front of a business on Lazelle Ave.

The person was on his stomach on the ground and appeared to be showing no resistance.

The video showed several blows being administered to the back of the head of the person, one after the person was handcuffed with his arms behind his back.

Commanding officer of the Terrace RCMP detachment inspector Dana Hart, who has since retired, ordered a Code of Conduct investigation and asked that the Independent Investigations Office of BC step in with its own investigation after becoming aware of the video on Oct. 7, 2014.

At that time, Hart said the video, approximately two minutes in length, did not capture the specific chain of events leading to the arrest, but he did say officers were responding to a 911 call.