Edmonton police officer fined $2K for assault on Indigenous man

An Edmonton police officer has been fined $2,000 for assaulting an Indigenous man in 2019.

Const. Michael Partington was found guilty of assault in August after he dropped his knee into the back of Elliot Houle in what Judge Peter Ayotte called a “gratuitous assault on an unresisting suspect.”

The Crown sought a jail sentence of between 60 to 90 days, while the defence wanted a suspended sentence.

Judge Ayotte decided on a $2,000 fine, and Partington will have a criminal record.

“Defence counsel argued forcefully that I should consider his client’s actions ‘impulsive,'” Judge Ayotte wrote in his decision.

“The word that best describes what I saw is not ‘impulsive,’ but ‘deliberate.'”

‘DIDN’T DO ANYTHING’

The incident happened Aug. 27, 2019, in the area of 115 Avenue and 95 Street.

Houle’s anguished cries can be heard on video of the arrest, at one point yelling, “I didn’t do anything,” as he’s subdued.

“Please stop!” he yells repeatedly as officers pin him down.

Another police officer walking over from a parked vehicle drops his knee into Houle’s back, causing him to scream out in pain once again.

“Do not run from the police,” an officer yells back. “Do you think I wouldn’t catch you?”

“You ran away from me,” one officer later says. “You didn’t even confirm your name.”

As Houle is stood up to be taken to a nearby police vehicle, he asks the officers, “What is your problem?”

An officer then appears to strike him in the face, causing him to scream and fall to his knees.

Partington has been an EPS officer for five years after a career in the Canadian military.

He has been suspended without pay since charges were laid in June 2020.

The EPS told CTV News the Professional Standards Branch will conduct a full investigation now that the criminal case has ended.

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