An Edmonton police officer has been convicted of assault with a weapon for zapping a downtown jaywalker twice in the backwith a Taser.
Provincial courtJudge Brian Fraser ruled Friday that Const. Aubrey Zalaski, 34,overreactedwith an"unnecessary, gratuitous use of force" when he stopped Paul Cetinski Jr., 35.
Outside court, Crown attorney Gary Cornfield said: "When you are shooting somebody in the back it's hard to say you are acting in self-defence."
During the trial, Cetinski tearfully testified that he was polite and courteous when stopped for jaywalking near a policestationin the middle of the day in August 2004.
He said Zalaski asked him to lean against the police car and spread his legs as if he were a criminal.
Cetinski told the court he had a handcuff on one wrist when he turned to look at Zalaski. The officer jumped back, then zapped him twice with a Taser, including once after he had fallen to the ground, he testified.
A Taser is an electronicweapon designed to cause temporary paralysis.
A sentencing hearing will be held in June. The constable's lawyer told the court that when it comes to sentencing, he believes a discharge would be appropriate.