So far, RCMP Const. Jack Cunningham is getting away with his verbal and physical abuse of Leslie James Lattery in July 2009.
In what appears to have become standard RCMP procedure when an RCMP member beats the crap out of someone, it was Lattery who was charged with assault, resisting arrest, assaulting a peace officer and uttering a death threat.
All of these charges could (and should) have been laid against Constable Jack Cunningham, not the man he beat the crap out of.
Judge E.D. Reimer was so disgusted with the constable’s behaviour, both at the time of the assault on Lattery and on the stand during the trial that he threw out all charges against Lattery.
"The officer used excessive force by striking the accused in the face without justification.
Additionally, the officer caused the accused to sustain a broken finger in the course of applying excessive force to his person by stepping or stomping on the hand of the accused as he lay on the ground.
I find that this treatment of the accused by the officer is cruel and unusual treatment.
Reimer said he did not believe the officer's testimony that Lattery had punched him first.
I am satisfied that immediately prior to and during his interaction with the accused at the scene, the officer was very angry and in a volatile condition.I find that this condition precluded him from acting in a reasonable fashion and resulted in a lack of awareness of what was occurring in his immediate vicinity."
Les Lattery was obviously very relieved after the judge stayed all charges against him and was pleased that the judge went so far as chastising the RCMP constable for his abusive and violent behaviour.
Lattery now wants Constable Jack Cunningham held accountable for his actions.
"I don't want to tar and feather all the Mounties with the same brush. I mean it's one bad apple and I think he should be accountable for what he did," Lattery said. "If I punched somebody in the face, I would be charged with assault and I believe he should be too."
I couldn’t agree more. We’re seeing far too many cases where RCMP constables, clearly in need of anger management counseling, are beating the crap out of people. Most of the time they get away with it, like Cunningham seems to be in this case.
Constables like Jack Cunningham, Geoff Mantler and Monty Robinson give the RCMP a very bad name. The RCMP themselves actually make matters worse, because they seem determined to cover up and make excuses for their bad apples, instead of making examples of them.
Making public examples of bad apples like these would serve two very important purposes:
1) it would show the rest of the RCMP that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated, and
2) it would show all of us, the citizens of Canada, that the RCMP takes abuses of authority and gross misconduct seriously.
Two things the RCMP currently refuses to do.
Until the RCMP brass decides to stop hiding their bad apples behind the Blue Wall, public confidence in the RCMP will continue to plummet, aided by the gross misconduct by such stellar examples of humanity as RCMP constable Jack Cunningham, RCMP Constable Geoff Mantler and RCMP Corporal Benjamin Monty Robinson.
For more on this abusive RCMP constable, check out these stories:
- Judge stays charges, says officer was ‘cruel’ to man
- RCMP officer ‘cruel’ to man, Alta judge finds
- Alberta man wants RCMP officer charged
All three stories above reference “court transcripts”, but I was unable to find the judge’s decision in this case in any of the online legal databases.