Thug cop and Kelowna RCMP Constable Geoff Mantler is well-known to anyone who follows cases of RCMP misconduct. In January 2011 he made international headlines after video surfaced of him [allegedly] brutally kicking Buddy Tavares in the face as Tavares knelt on the ground in front of him.
I hate having to preface that comment with [allegedly] but even thugs like RCMP Constable Geoff Mantler are to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law; the overwhelming evidence that he is nothing but a thug with a badge and gun notwithstanding.
On the evening of August 30, 2010 Geoff Mantler [allegedly] punched a crack addict named Manjit Singh Bhatti in the face while Bhatti stood, hands handcuffed behind his back, beside Mantler’s RCMP cruiser and posed no threat to anyone.
“I heard stomp stomp to the right of me and as I was turning, I got hit with either an elbow or a fist,” Bhatti told CHBC News. “From there, I hit the ground and my glasses broke. I had a cut above my eye and my nose was bleeding.”
When Bhatti asked the cop why he was struck, Bhatti says he was told, “Because you’re a stupid, crackhead Hindu”.
Constable Geoff Mantler appears to enjoy beating up citizens he comes across in the course of his duties. There have been a number of police brutality complaints lodged against Mantler but none appeared to gain any traction with the RCMP until the video of Mantler [allegedly] kicking Tavares in the face gained wide coverage.
When Bhatti said he was going to file a complaint against him, Constable Mantler was completely unconcerned.
“He said, go ahead. This isn’t the first time somebody’s complained against me,” Bhatti said.
In fact, it seems Mantler had good reason to be unconcerned about another police brutality complaint against him.
Bhatti did as he said he would, and filed an official complaint with the RCMP. That complaint sat ignored on RCMP Sgt. Wade Severson’s desk for 30 days. It took a full 3 months for it to become a criminal matter. News reports of Sgt. Wade Severson’s testimony in the Manjit Singh Bhatti case have not given any explanation why Sgt. Severson ignored the official police brutality complaint for so long, but most observers of the RCMP feel it is just standard RCMP practice to protect their own, no matter what.
Constable Geoff Mantler was never suspended for his police brutality against Manjit Bhatti and the criminal case against him, such as it was, moved at a snail’s pace until Mantler himself, by his brutal kick to Tavares’ face, finally forced the RCMP to actually do something about him and his apparent anger management issues.
Constable Mantler was only sent on a paid holiday, or as the RCMP likes to call it “suspended with pay”, after kicking Buddy Tavares in the face. Eventually his pay was stopped but that’s unusual for cases like this.
As regular readers of my columns know, RCMP Corporal Monty Robinson (the cop who killed Orion Hutchinson while Robinson was under the influence), despite a criminal conviction for obstruction of justice in that case, is still on the RCMP’s payroll receiving his full salary. This absurdity has now gone on for 4 years.
Manjit Bhatti, like most people who watched the Buddy Tavares video, is horrified that someone like Geoff Mantler is still on the force.
“It’s just non-professional. You wouldn’t expect that from a police officer making an arrest. I think he’s just a rogue cop that does not belong on the force. I think he’s got some kind of anger issues or some kind of issues, which we all do, but a person like that should not be allowed to be a police officer.”
I couldn’t agree more.