Judge condemns Edmonton officer who used Taser on teen
A judge has ruled that an Edmonton police constable abused his power when he used a Taserona teen boy who was in custody for breaking into a house.
Last month, provincial court judge Pat Kvill stayed the charges against the youth, saying the police misconduct was so egregious that prosecution of the boy would have been offensive.
But she waited two weeks to release a written judgment, which includes a stinging condemnation of the actions taken by Const. Todd Hudek.
"We place great power in the hands of police officers with the tacit understanding that police will never abuse that power," the judge says in her 16-page ruling.
"By accusing, charging, detaining, strip-searching, convicting and punishing the boy before he was ever brought before the court, the police officer abused the power placed in his hands."
Christmas Eve incident
Hudek has been charged with assault with a weapon and is scheduled to go on trial Jan. 25.
The teen was caught breaking into a house on Christmas Eve 2003. He was found guilty at trial, but the verdict was overturned and the appeal court ordered a new trial.
The officer testified that he used aTaser on the boy, who was 15 at the time, after the youth made a threatening gesture during a strip search in police cells.
Kvill's ruling says that when a police officer overreaches his authority, he turns the entire judicial system upside down.
She also says that punishing the boy was the job of the courts, not a police officer, and the officer used the Taser simply to punish the youth.
The boy cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.